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The taxpayer was walking down the street. In pulling a phone out of his pocket, a dime fell to the sidewalk and rolled to the curb. Someone, a tired person, sat on it and drank wine out of a bottle in a paper bag…….

I bet you thought this was going to be a posting of deep insight, didn’t you?

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Any white cop will tell you it does.  You can’t predict how a Black will act, they’re just weird, so you must detain him first to protect your own safety… and only then, determine if they’ve ever committed a crime…

And no, you don’t have to do that to white people they tell you….

This brought to mind something quite weird…

Have you ever seen a Black guy walk through an all white neighborhood?  All the white people stare at him… No one says “hey, yo, what’s up bro?  How you feelin’ today?”  The phones ring behind closed curtains as old lady calls old lady… “Better be careful out there, there’s a black guy loose”…  It’s like: put one black guy on the street and everyone gets panicky…

This is fact.  You don’t see that in all-black neighborhoods… When a lone white guy walks down Spruce Street in Wilmington, everyone out on their stoops, calls out to him… Kids run up, “hey, Mister.”  Old folks holler from their porches… “Hot enough for you out there?”  Black men on the corner all say, “hey, what’s happenin’, bro?”…  The atmosphere is a community oriented around love and they open up their hearts (providing you aren’t police)… But it is fact: when a white guy walks down a Black neighborhood street, everyone doesn’t assume he is there to commit crime… But that is EXACTLY what goes on in white neighborhoods…..

Why is that?  Why do whites as a rule get all uppity around blacks, but blacks don’t around whites?

The phenomena which is very prevalent, gives credence to all those cops killing black men because of their skin color… Their fear of the black man is innate.  That “I’d better shoot first or he’ll kill me” attitude causes all of them to respond to fear in a crises and not with ones head…

And this is embarrassing for most white people to acknowledge but they do admit it.  They may not have racist bone in their body, but they KNOW, their community is very scared of black people… Whereas black communities will invite white strangers into to a home BBQ if one is going on… ( especially if they bring booze).

And if you come from that mentality of instinctive fear, you are going to make the assumption that guy is going to kill you first and ask questions later; “Ka Pow”… no questions needed now…

How do you diffuse this?

I believe you can ratchet things downward by asking someone to explain how a gene affecting pigment in your skin makes anyone more dangerous than someone lacking that gene…

I think if we all apply science to this problem and realize that it is just a gene that makes skin dark; no gene is going to make someone kill you first before you have time to assess the threat… any more than the lack of that pigment gene is going to make them kill you first… Pigment has nothing to do with wanting to kill, it’s there to protect skin from excessive sun… Otherwise white people would be locking up freckled Irish, out of fear over what might happen… “THEY HAVE DARK SPOTS ON THEIR SKIN!!! ”

Our race problem is strictly based on myths we carry from our childhoods.  Like Black people are dangerous; … Or white people are always nice to each other and always respect authority… of course neither are true… What is true is that most people do respect authority out of self preservation; a learned trait it comes from their experience in life, not a pigmentizing gene.

When we collectively come to the realization that race is arbitrarily decided by skin color, (it could be eye color, or foot size) then we will have overcome its influence… I know such success is kind of hard to accomplish when you have one major party’s Presidential candidate saying the exact opposite…

But if you were a white cop, and upon walking up to a car see it’s a black person and right then, take a deep breath and pretend its a white person like your Uncle Joe, then the tension with which you approach that car, is the same as if you approached some white old man with freckles…  The person in that car, who’s apprehensive and afraid you are going to go berserk as in those videos, all because he was driving while black, relaxes and diffuses as well for he looks at you as a black cop, same skin color as him…

If every cop did this exercise upon approaching a suspect or someone pulled over, we just might get along a little better…

Research has proven that blacks do get treated more meanly than any other race… We have that data… They are indeed roughed up a lot more than any other race…

Race Baiting

The severity seems to be white peoples’ fault; those same white people who freak out every time a black person strolls through their neighborhood and whisper:  “what’s he doing here?”

 

 

If you are not a parent with children in school, you don’t know much about Opt-Out.  If you are a parent with children in school, you are very much aware about Opt-Out….

Essentially what is now called crony capitalism simply took over American education during the recession when money was very tight.  They immediately tried to classify all children into little corporate boxes which they designed to provide a continuous incoming revenue stream (for themselves)…

Parents knew that children should be learning more about what’s important in life and less about how to act like corporate schill,  and so parents looked for a way to stop it. Since all the corporate actions depended on having this one single test show beyond doubt that American children were more stupid they they really were, parents realized that if they could disable the credibility of these test results through not testing their children, then and only then would their requests have merit on boards overseeing education now staffed with crony capitalists.  Crony capitalists are those who preach the benefits of capitalism, but get their money from governmental handouts because of who they know in government.

The only way parents would get their wishes heard (they rightly concluded), was to refuse the test which if done on a massive scale would render the  published results untrustworthy, costing Capitalists lots of money, and therefore to the crony capitalists, the act of  fulfilling the parents’ demands would appear the cheaper option.

And at this point this article is going to leave the topic of education. Because I want to talk about the bigger issue at play here and it basically involves the future of every Americans’ economic freedom.

Throughout out years of history there is something uniquely America about the way we opt out.   Back when Britain’s Parliament decided that the Thirteen Colonies must pay some of their costly governance (Stamp Act), most Americans chose to opt out.  When the Brits relented and said, “ok, since you don’t drink very much tea, we’ll drop our tax on everything else”, the Americans opted out of drinking tea.

America was founded on opting out…

When the Pullman company said “no” to workers asking for a livable wage, workers opted out of working until those demands were met. Not willing to succumb to that loss of profits, the Pullman company reverted to violence to force people to work, and when that didn’t work, they convinced President Cleveland to force them back with a decree and he did.  They returned to work disappointed but the strike movement was born and would soon sweep across almost every industry.

It had to, because Opting Out is the only power (other than anarchy)people really have when things are stacked against them. Although  our nation is often deemed a representative democracy, under the surface enough representatives kow-tow to powerful interests, so the will of the powerful becomes the law of the land.

And that shuts the major door which working people have to implement their requests. As long as democracy continues as “majority rules”, you really don’t need “opt out” …  Instead, you opt not to return an official you despise and replace him with one more inclined to follow your wishes.

Now with Citizens United in play we are not even in the same world politically, as we were only one year into the Iraqi War (2004) .. As plainly seen by today’s Republican Party, very strange people as candidates are propped up by hidden money and it appears that with so much money, even without popular support weird candidates could still win.

So in those times when government and your bosses business are allied against YOU, you have to take non-governmental action to express your sentiments in a costly enough ways, so you too become part of the discussion….

Talk is cheap; money isn’t.

So if they don’t talk to you sincerely about your money, you hit them in their money…. You opt out of working for them. “Nope, not taking this today”

As Americans we tend by our altruistic nature to put other people’s interests above ours.  Not all of us, but most of us really do feel that way. It is why the rest of the world likes us. But the time to worry over your bosses profits before raising the prices for your services, has probably past…. Statistics show so much money in the top 1% came from YOU, because our Republican Congress this past decade let them run their hands through money which should have been yours.  You are working far shy of your income potential just because they are paying you much less for your services than they could easily afford. External factors have all been ruled out.  The  reason you are not seeing your income grow, is because THEY don’t want you to see your income grow.

The simplest way to get more money in today’s world, is to opt out of working for that boss, either permanently or on a strike. Every billionaire sports franchise has suffered a player strike in this century.  The owners first balk at not meeting players demands, and the players opt out of playing in their events.

No one can argue that NHL, NFL, MLB, or the NBA employees are impoverished. Players strike because the owners’ profits comes solely from their labor and as profits rise, they  certainly are entitled and deserve a cut in on the action. So do those who make cars.  So do those who work for airlines. So do those who cook your fast food. So do those who teach.

Strikes are simply about “cuts and percentages of profit”… as in do we cut you in on our huge profit, or on the other side, do we cut you out of your huge profits until you let us in on the action?

Today corporate overreach is so big, it is eating our public schools. Most likely that means it already owns your life…pinched between your bills and  your bosses demands.  But don’t you really deserve better?  Don’t you wish you were paid more for the amount of work you do? Why should you roll-over and resign yourself simply to settling for basic survival, instead of really enjoying your short time on this planet?  Don’t the rules businesses use against each other, apply to you too?  And the sad answer is that up to now, you DO settle for subsistence because you have been trained “not to rock the boat” or you’ll lose your job.  Your obligatory duty has been to keep the charade of normality continuing at your bosses pleasure, an action which plays directly into the hands of the 1%.

“Look at these fools, performing at the highest productivity America has ever seen and doing it for peanuts, while I’m beach-partying.”

For just a little bit more each week, you too could be partying… Which is why I think that the opt out movement is going national here in the US… jumping the confines of education to spread through out the workplace.

It is already prevalent among the millionaires.  They’ve been opting out of taxes for years now.  They opt out of regulations they don’t like implemented to protect the health of citizens.  They opt out of zonings they don’t like.  They opt out of environmental regulations. They opt out of following OSHA requirements.  They have been opting out a long time, which is why they are so afraid you will too.  They know its effectability.

Today, at no harm to your kid, you can opt him out of testing knowing full well that only then will changes get made. Once you succeed, apply that philosophy to the rest of your life…  HB 50 is nothing less than preserving YOUR right as an American Citizen, to opt out.  Imagine if asking for higher wages put you in jail.  It may one day. It has in corporate-run societies of the past.  But it will not happen here if your government preserves your basic American Right…. to opt out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is general agreement today that American society is top heavy.  We live in Bizarro World‘s Soviet Russia.  Our Congress is semi-capitalist instead of Communist, but certainly it is not there to represent our interests, which are those of We, The People. Our elite (primarily our largest investors) control all of Congress’ perks while we wait in line for daily bread. Gigantic tax breaks for the wealthy are easily and quickly passed, and services for the rest of the 99% are cut to pay for them. Though we too are taxed (lightly), our money spent, does not come back to us; it rises to the top and stays there.

Ironically this is the exact opposite of what every American child learned about his country if he grew up in the years after WWII… while there still was a communist Russia.  Everything we learned was bad about Soviet Russia, is now happening to us to some degree…. Mass surveillance; rigged elections; rigged judicial systems; loss of our class wealth.

But the big difference we learned was that in America, power rose from the ground up.  We elected our representative and they were beholden to us. Today despite on how we vote, big money first vets and then funds our representatives. We go through Communist-like fake elections to put a rubber stamp on one of the two candidates selected, but long before we do, they were the ones who first picked who runs.

We can see this personified by our educational policy.  The communists of Russia had a state system to which if you did not comply, you were shot. We have something similar but instead our punishment is that our school doesn’t receive Federal funding unless comply with the Politburo’s wishes…

This was decreed from the top and is still in place despite our representatives voting 60 to 10 to support of “Opting Out”.

It all goes to show the now blatant view that whatever We, The People want, does not matter.

And that is a colossal failure of democracy. Democracy was simply a government designed to do whatever its people want; not the opposite of their desires.  .

If we want to change this, we need to take a page from our own founding fathers and create millions of small conversations across America regarding  the direction our future evolves out of the issues affecting us, and not be deflected towards flaws in our candidates’ personalities…

Currently our media is devoted entirely to personalities… Carson’s lying?  What does that have to do with how well we live 4 years from now?  Who is winning in Rubio’s and Jeb’s tit for tat?  Plenty of conversation but no information on how our lives will be better 4 years from now.  Tomorrow our media will use the most popular High School social analyses to determine who *(they think) won the debate tonight.

We all know who lost.  The American People… After all this is our country and we too need to be informed; not entertained, not tricked into voting for whom the top echelon wants to be in power..  Imagine a brain surgeon who didn’t know medicine?  Would we go there?  Imagine a plumber who didn’t know plumbing?  Or an electrician who didn’t know electricity?  Or a Math Teacher who didn’t know math?  Would we ask them to do a job for us?

But We, The People (over these past 2 decades which has see the corporatization of all big media), must make decisions as blindly as do High School classmates when voting for a Student Body President… Consequently the same methods that work in high school with uneducated voters are in play for our national elections.  As in who would we like to spend time with? Who acts the part of Chief Exec the best?  Who comes across as snooty or arrogant?   Who is the sexiest?   Our press discusses these; it does not touch on policy that affects Americans like:

  • What result will we get if we raise taxes instead of lowering them?
  • What is the cost of immigration if we do or don’t seal our  borders?
  • What is the cost of not raising minimum wage versus raising minimum wage to $15/ hour?
  • Should our property legally be taken because “friends” of politicians want it for development?
  • Why is being spied on 24/7 bad for us all
  • What will life be under the TPP if it gets implemented? What will it do for wages 15 years from now?

Those of us who modify public opinion need to be wary of the tricks big media is playing.  We need to call them out with facts or ideas that actually help people and therefore indirectly help corporations.  But getting bogged down in pie fights does a disservice to our readers as well as to the nation as a whole.

There is only so much time.  If our time is wasted on inconsequentals, things of consequence do not get done!  Which makes one believe they almost all our pie fights are there only for diversionary purposes…

The Red Cup controversy is only one example…  Everyone is discussing how inane the argument is.  So far in real life I have not found anyone out of roughly a 1000 people who thinks the Red Cup is anti-Christian.  Yet I have heard quite a few media references to it.  But by just bringing it up,  people are wasting time talking about Christmas faux-rage instead of questioning under which candidate they are most likely to get their boss to adequately raise their salary… And as we listen to the media gear up for tonight’s debates… the best explanation for how crazy they sound, is that they are not crazy and know exactly what they don’t want you to ask, and deflect you entirely from breeching that number one question regarding……..

Our salary increases. … That is really what is important.

There is only one national candidate now who is intent on making that happen.  There are a lot more on the local level.. Those are the contenders around whom your discussions need to center  Everything else in the political-media jungle is right now aimed at keeping you from seeing that..

We are opting out of state mandated tests.

We are served up a spectacle of Presidential debaters living in bubbles saying nothing of substance.

Our media ignores the one person who is mouthing things of substance; basically the problems 99% of us face in balancing our paycheck against our expenses…. One is too low, the other is too high… They should be reversed.

Our Arctic Ice Cap is dangerously low, our entire global climate is reeling.

A seven billion person planet  freaks out and cannot handle a meager 1 million refugees from just 0.3% of its land mass.

The globe has never been richer…. EVER…. yet 99% of its people live in poverty.

Our own children are pawns in a grand scheme to eliminate public education and fix it so investors get rich off it.

Our corporate media simply doesn’t tell the truth anymore.  One has to turn to comedians to get real information.

A raspy brash loudmouth Jew with crazy hair calls out an Evangelist University of higher learning for not following the very laws laid down by Jesus Christ. An act very similar to that of another Jew a little under 2000 years ago who also challenged the religious authorities of HIS time.

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

That was today.  Meanwhile almost 50 million of our country lives in poverty, often while working too jobs… and everyone shrugs and thinks that’s ok.  The only thing worth discussing is Planned Parenthood and punishing Iran.

Is this really America then?  Are we no longer the land of opportunity emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty’s bottom?

Something has got to give, right?

It starts with you…. when you get mad enough to do something… that’s when it changes… 

You can… if you think about it…. start by going to Dover … 12:30 pm…. to protest the Smarter Balanced Assessment.   Because it is all connected… it is all about big money doing what it wants over your objections… It’s all about getting you out of their way….

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY
Statutory Authority: 14 Delaware Code, Section 122(b) (14 Del.C.
§122(b)14
DE Admin. Code 103

PROPOSED

A. Education Impact Analysis Pursuant To 14 Del.C. Section 122(d)103 Accountability for Schools, Districts and the State A.Type of Regulatory Action Required
Amendment to Existing Regulation<

B. Synopsis of Subject Matter of the Regulation
The Secretary of Education seeks the consent of the State Board of Education to amend Title 14 DE Admin. Code  Accountability for Schools, Districts and the State. This regulation is being amended to reflect changes to the Department of Education’s accountability system for schools, districts and the State, including changes as approved by the Elementary and Secondary School Elementary Education Act Flexibility application. The timing for the updates to this regulation is consistent with the FY16 Appropriations Act epilogue language. Persons wishing to present their views regarding this matter may do so in writing by the close of business on or before October 1, 2015 to Tina Shockley, Education Associate, Department of Education, Regulatory Review, at 401 Federal Street, Suite 2, Dover, Delaware 19901. A copy of this regulation may be viewed or obtained at the Department of Education, Finance Office located at the address listed above.

C. Impact Criteria

1. Will the amended regulation help improve student achievement as measured against state achievement standards? The amendment will help improve student achievement by setting up an accountability system for schools, districts and the State.

2. Will the amended help ensure that all students receive an equitable education The amended regulation will help to ensure that all students receive an equitable education.

3. Will the amended regulation help to ensure that all students’ health and safety are adequately protected? The amendment does not address students’ health and safety.

4. Will the amended regulation help to ensure that all students’ legal rights are respected? The amended regulation will help ensure that all students’ legal rights are respected.

5. Will the amended regulation preserve the necessary authority and flexibility of decision making at the local board and school level? The amended regulation will preserve the necessary authority and flexibility of decision making at the local board and school level.

6. Will the amended regulation place unnecessary reporting or administrative requirements or mandates upon decision makers at the local board and school levels? The amended regulation will not place unnecessary reporting or administrative requirements or mandates upon decision makers at the local board and school levels.

7. Will the decision making authority and accountability for addressing the subject to be regulated be placed in the same entity? The decision making authority and accountability for addressing the subject to be regulated does not change due to the amendment.

8. Will the amended regulation be consistent with and not an impediment to the implementation of other state educational policies, in particular to state educational policies addressing achievement in the core academic subjects of mathematics, science, language arts and social studies? The amended regulation will be consistent with and not an impediment to the implementation of other state educational policies, in particular to state educational policies addressing achievement in the core academic subjects.

9. Is there a less burdensome method for addressing the purpose of the regulation? There is not a less burdensome method for addressing the purpose of the regulation.

10. What is the cost to the State and to the local school boards of compliance with the regulation? There is no cost to the state or local school boards to be in compliance with this regulation.

103 Accountability for Schools, Districts and the State.
1 Purpose and Definitions

1.1 Purpose: All public schools, including charter schools, reorganized and career technical school districts and the State shall be subject to the accountability system as developed by the Delaware Department of Education and as prescribed by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), 20 U.S. C.A. §6301 et seq. or any ESEA Flexibility application approved by the U.S. Department of Education….Additionally, public schools, including charter schools, reorganized and vocational technical school districts shall be subject to the applicable rewards, sanctions and other accountability activities as prescribed in this regulation.

2 Definitions:  

Action List School” for the purposes of this regulation means any public Title I school that presents significant academic achievement gaps in their subgroup(s) or overall low student achievement as specified through ESEA Flexibility.

Average Daily Attendance (ADA)” shall mean aggregate number of days attended divided by the aggregated possible days of attendance as defined by the district or charter school calendar calculated for those students enrolled in grades Kindergarten through grade 8 of a school, district, or the state.

“Charter School” shall means a charter school board established pursuant to Chapter 5 of Title 14 of the Delaware Code

“Delaware School Success Framework (DSSF)” means the multiple measures framework as approved by the Secretary with the assent of the State Board of Education by which all public school academic performance shall be calculated and reported annually. The DSSF shall serve as the mechanism for school accountability as prescribed by the federal ESEA. The DSSF shall be used to identify required categories of schools under ESEA Flexibility and the state-designated Recognition schools.

“Delaware System of Student Assessments System (DeSSA)” means the system of assessments designed to measure student achievement of state content standards, including, but not limited to, general assessments measuringstudent achievement based on grade-level academic standards, alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, a college readiness assessment, an assessment for English Language Learners (ELL), a norm referenced assessment; or any assessment that may be administered or required as determined by the Department for use in Delaware public schools statewide..

“Department”‘ or “ Department of Education” means the Delaware Department of Education.

“District” shall means a reorganized school district or vocational technical school district established pursuantto Chapter 10 of Title 14 of the Delaware Code.

“Elementary School” for purposes of this regulation means a school with a grade configuration including any of the following: Kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, or grade 6. However, a school that has grade 6 as its lowest grade level may be considered a Middle School or Secondary School as those terms are defined in this regulation herein.

“ESEA” shall mean the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 or any reauthorization thereof.

“ESEA Flexibility Application (ESEA Flexibility)” means the flexibility application submitted by the Delaware Department of Education and approved by the U.S. Department of Education under the U.S. Secretary of Education’s waiver authority as outlined in ESEA section 9401(d)(1).

“Focus School” for purposes of this regulation means a district school identified by the Secretary from a list of the bottom 10% of Title I schools in the academic achievement gaps of one or more student subgroups pursuant to ESEA Flexibility. The Department is not required to identify Focus Schools annually.

“Focus Plus School” for purposes of this regulation means a Focus School that does not meet the criteria for exit from Focus School status pursuant to ESEA Flexibility.

“Full Academic Year” for purposes of this regulation means a student enrolled continuously in the school from September 30 through the end of the statewide summative assessment window of a school year.

“High School” for purposes of this regulation shall means a school with a grade configuration including any of the following: grade 9, grade 10, grade 11, or grade 12. A High School shall also be considered a SecondarySchool as that term is defined herein.

“Increased Learning Time” means using a longer school day, week, or year schedule to significantly increase the total number of school hours as defined in Priority guidance.

“Middle School”, for purposes of this regulation, shall means a school with a grade configuration with more than one of the following: grade 6, grade 7, or grade 8, but that does not include any grade lower than grade 5.

“Parent” means the parent, legal guardian or a Relative Caregiver.

“Priority School” means a district Title I school identified by the Secretary among the bottom 5% in overall performance or a Title I eligible High School that meets the requirements pursuant to the ESEA Flexibility. The Department is not required to identify Priority Schools annually.

“Relative Caregiver” means, pursuant to 14 Del.C.§202(f)(1), an adult who, by blood, marriage or adoption, is the child’s great grandparent, grandparent, step grandparent, great aunt, aunt, step aunt, great uncle, uncle,step uncle, step parent, brother, sister, step brother, step sister, half brother, half sister, niece, nephew, first cousin or first cousin once removed but who does not have legal custody or legal guardianship of the student.

“Reward School” means any public Title I school demonstrating outstanding overall performance or annual growth pursuant to ESEA Flexibility.

“Recognition School” means any public Title I or non-Title I school demonstrating exceptional performance or achievement gap closure pursuant to the ESEA Flexibility.

“Secondary School”, for purposes of this regulation, shall means a school with a grade configuration including any of the following: grade 6, grade 7, grade 8, grade 9, grade 10, grade 11, or grade 12. However, a school that includes grade 6 may be considered an Elementary School or Middle School as those terms are defined in this regulation herein.

“Secretary” means the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education.

“State” means State of Delaware.

“Statewide System of Supports” means a variety of categories of, and supports to, school improvement pursuant to ESEA Flexibility.

7 DE Reg. 57 (07/01/03)
10 DE Reg. 89 (07/01/06)
13 DE Reg. 1064 (02/01/10)
14 DE Reg. 1353 (06/01/11)

Delaware School Success Framework (DSSF)
2.1 The Delaware School Success Framework (DSSF) shall be the basis for the determination of school accountability ratings. School accountability ratings shall be calculated by the Department for all public schools, including reorganized and career technical school districts and the State on an annual basis. Ratings shall be calculated through the aggregation of school performance on individual metrics in the DSSF.

2.2 The Delaware School Success Framework (DSSF) shall be comprised of multiple metrics in the following categories: Academic Achievement, Growth, On Track to Graduation, College and Career Readiness and Additional Information. The metrics in the Additional Information category will not contribute to a school’s overall rating.

…..2.2.1 Academic Achievement shall include four metrics:

……….2.2.1.1 Proficiency in English language arts (ELA) adjusted for participation rate means the percent of students scoring proficient on the statewide summative assessment in ELA multiplied by the participation rate of students on that assessment.

……….2.2.1.2 Proficiency in mathematics adjusted for participation rate means the percent of students scoring proficient on the statewide summative assessment in mathematics multiplied by the participation rate of students on that assessment.

……….2.2.1.3 Proficiency in science adjusted for participation rate means the percent of students scoring proficient on the statewide summative assessment in science multiplied by the participation rate of students on that assessment.

……….2.2.1.4 Proficiency in social studies adjusted for participation rate means the percent of students scoring proficient on the statewide summative assessment in social studies multiplied by the participation rate of students on that assessment.

…..2.2.2 Growth shall include two metrics:

……….2.2.2.1 Growth in English language arts (ELA) means the average amount of growth demonstrated by students on the statewide summative assessment in ELA.

……….2.2.2.2 Growth in mathematics means the average amount of growth demonstrated by students on the statewide summative assessment in mathematics.

…..2.2.3 On Track to Graduation shall include five metrics:

……….2.2.3.1 Average Daily Attendance shall be calculated for elementary and middle schools.

……….2.2.3.2 On track in ninth grade means the percent of ninth grade students that have earned at least one credit in four of the following course areas: English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and World Language. On track in ninth grade shall be calculated for high schools only.

……….2.2.3.3 Four-year cohort graduation rate as defined by 34 C.F.R. 200.19. The four-year graduation rateshall be calculated for high schools only.

……….2.2.3.4 Five-year cohort graduation rate shall be an extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rate as defined by 34 C.F.R. 200.19. The five-year graduation rate shall be calculated for high schoolsonly.

……….2.2.3.5 Six-year cohort graduation rate shall be an extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rate as defined by 34 C.F.R. 200.19. The six-year graduation rate shall be calculated for high schools only.

…..2.2.4 College and Career Readiness shall include three metrics:

……….2.2.4.1 Growth to proficiency in English language arts (ELA) means the percent of students that demonstrate a growth path to reach or maintain proficiency on the statewide summative assessment in ELA in less than three assessment periods or by eleventh grade. Growth to proficiency shall be calculated for elementary and middle schools only.

……….2.2.4.2 Growth to proficiency in mathematics means the percent of students that demonstrate a growth path to reach or maintain proficiency on the statewide summative assessment in mathematics in less than three assessment periods or by eleventh grade. Growth to proficiency shall be calculated for elementary and middle schools only.

……….2.2.4.3 College and Career Preparation means the percent of graduating students who have demonstrated success on one or more examples of college and career preparation in high school. College and career preparation shall be calculated for high schools only. A student may demonstrate success by achieving any of the following:

……………2.2.4.3.1 Achievement Level 3 or above on the statewide summative assessment in both ELA and mathematics;

……………2.2.4.3.2 A score of 1550 or above on the SAT assessment;

……………2.2.4.3.3 A score of three or above on any Advanced Placement (AP) examination, excluding AP Seminar;

……………2.2.4.3.4 A score of four or above on any International Baccalaureate (IB) examination;

……………2.2.4.3.5 Grade of B or above on a Department approved non-elective course in the state course transfer matrix;

……………2.2.4.3.6 Technical skills attainment and a combined achievement level on the statewide summative assessment in ELA and mathematics of 6 or above; or,

……………2.2.4.3.7 Technical skills attainment and completion of a co-operative job training opportunity.

…..2.2.5 Additional information shall include metrics which shall not contribute to an accountability rating:

……….2.2.5.1 Survey of students means a statewide, research based survey of students that is aligned with a Parent and educator survey.

……….2.2.5.2 Survey of Parents means a statewide, research based survey of Parents with children enrolled in public schools that is aligned with a student and teacher survey.

……….2.2.5.3 Survey of teachers means a statewide, research based survey of teachers in public schools that is aligned with a student and Parent survey.

……….2.2.5.4 Postsecondary outcomes mean the percent of graduating students who enroll in an institute of higher education within one year of graduation. Postsecondary outcomes shall be calculated for high schools only.

……….2.2.5.5 School narrative report means information provided by the school pertaining to any of the following: curricular offerings, parent and community involvement, exemplary programs,successful teaching, school climate or disciplinary strategies and other developments, as defined by 14 DE Admin. Code §104.

2.3 Full Academic Year for accountability:

…..2.3.1 For school accountability students enrolled continuously in the school from September 30 through the end of the statewide summative assessment window of a school year including those students identified in 3.1.1 and 3.1.2, shall be considered enrolled for a full academic year.

…..2.3.2 For district accountability students enrolled continuously in the district (but not necessarily the same school), from September 30 through the end of the summative assessment window of a school year,including those students identified in 3.1.1 and 3.1.2, shall be considered enrolled for a full academic year.

…..2.3.3 For State accountability students enrolled continuously in the State (but not necessarily the same school or district) from September 30 through the end of the summative assessment window of a school year shall be considered enrolled for a Full Academic Year.

2.4 Proficient: For accountability purposes, students who score at Achievement or Performance Level 3 or Level 4 and who have met the requirements of a full academic year as defined in 2.3 shall be deemed proficient.Students who score at Achievement or Performance Level 2 or Level 1 who have met the requirements of a full academic year as defined in 2.3 shall not meet the definition of proficient.

2.5 Participation Rate: The participation rate for each subgroup shall be the number of students who participate in the statewide summative assessments in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies divided by the number of students enrolled in the tested grades of these assessments during the summative assessment period. Only those students exempted by 14 DE Admin. Code 101.12.0 shall be excluded from the participation rate calculation. Any school with fewer than 95% of the students as an aggregate or within each subgroup participating in the State assessments of English language arts or mathematics shall have its accountability rating reduced, as determined by the Department.

2.6 Proration: Students are accountable to the school that provides instructional services on the following prorated basis:

…..2.6.1 For all academic achievement metrics, when a Full Academic Year student takes the statewide summative assessment in grade 3, the following shall occur: the school that provided Kindergarten services shall receive 10% of the score; the school that provided first grade services shall receive 20% of the score; the school that provided second grade services shall receive 30% of the score; and the school that provided third grade services shall receive 40% of the score.

…..2.6.2 For proficiency in science adjusted for participation, when a Full Academic Year student takes the statewide summative assessment in grade 8, the following shall occur: the school that provided sixth grade services shall receive 20% of the score; the school that provided seventh grade services gets 30% of the score; and the school that provided eighth grade services gets 50% of the score. When a Full Academic Year student takes the statewide summative assessment in grade 5, the following shall occur: the school that provided second grade services gets 10% of the score; the school that provided third grade services gets 20% of the score; the school that provided fourth grade services gets 30% of the score; and the school that provided fifth grade services gets 40% of the score.

…..2.6.3 For proficiency in social studies adjusted for participation, when a Full Academic Year student takes the statewide summative assessment in grade 7, the following shall occur: the school that provided fifth grade services shall receive 20% of the score; the school that provided sixth grade services gets 30% of the score; and the school that provided seventh grade services gets 50% of the score. When a Full Academic Year student takes the statewide summative assessment in grade 4, the following shall occur: the school that provided first grade services gets 10% of the score; the school that provided second grade services gets 20% of the score; the school that provided third grade services gets 30% of the score; and the school that provided fourth grade services gets 40% of the score.

…..2.6.4 For growth in ELA and mathematics at the high school level, a student’s growth score shall be apportioned to any High School where that student was enrolled on September 30, based on the number of High Schools of enrollment. A student enrolled in two High Schools from 9th to 11th grade shall have their growth split evenly (50% for each school). A student enrolled in three High Schools from 9th to 11th grade shall have their growth split evenly (33% for each school).

2.7 Annual Measurable Objective (AMO): The annual measurable objectives for English language arts, mathematics, and the four-year cohort graduation rate shall be determined by the Department and published annually. The annual measurable objectives shall be the same for all schools and districts.

2.8 Calculation of ratings and metric targets: All schools, districts and the State shall receive a performance rating for each rated category of the DSSF (i.e., Academic Achievement, Growth, On Track to Graduation and College and Career Readiness) and overall, as further defined in this regulation. The ratings for each rated DSSF category shall be based upon performance against a set of targets for each metric included in the category. The overall rating shall be calculated through the weighted aggregation of performance across allrated DSSF metrics that are applicable to that entity. The targets and weighting criteria shall be determined bythe Department and published annually. The targets and weighting criteria shall be consistent for all schools, districts and the State.

…..2.8.1 A school’s performance rating must demonstrate that the lowest performing subgroup (excluding ELL and Special Education) is at least as high as the highest performing subgroup two performance levels lower. If it is not, the school’s performance rating will be reduced one full level.

2.9 Subgroup categories: For accountability purposes, a single Student Gap Group shall be used. The Student Gap Group shall be an aggregate, unduplicated count of students that are in groups that have historically demonstrated achievement gaps, including: 1) Children with Disabilities (as per IDEA); 2) Economically Disadvantaged Students, as determined by the Department of Education’s defined methodology for the identification of low income students; 3) Students identified as English Language Learners (ELL) as determined by the assessment for English Language Learners (ELL); (3) African American or Black students; (4) Hispanic or Latino; and (5) American Indian or Alaska Native. For reporting purposes, subgroup categories shall be delineated as follows: 1) Children with Disabilities (as per IDEA); 2) Economically Disadvantaged Students, as determined by the Department’s defined methodology for the identification of low- income students; 3) Students identified as English Language Learners (ELL) as determined by the assessment for English Language Learners (ELL); and 4) Race and ethnicity, to be further divided into African American or Black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino, White or Caucasian, and Multi-Racial. Such subgroup categories shall include all students eligible for the accountability calculation as further defined throughout this regulation. The “All” categories shall include all students in the entity for which accountability is calculated and who meet all other eligibility criteria for the accountability calculation.

2.10 Accountability Determinations

…..2.10.1 For each public school, reorganized and career technical school districts, and the State, accountability ratings shall be calculated annually.

…..2.10.2 School Accountability: If there are more than 15 students in the aggregate or in any subgroup, the performance on each DSSF metric within a rated category that is applicable to the school shall be reported. If there are 30 or more students in the aggregate or in any subgroup, the performance on each DSSF metric within a rated category that is applicable to the school shall be reported and used to determine accountability ratings.

…..2.10.3 District Accountability: If there are more than 15 students in the aggregate or in any subgroup, the performance on each DSSF metric within a rated category that is applicable to the district shall be reported. If there are 30 or more students in the aggregate or in any subgroup the performance on each DSSF metric within a rated category that is applicable to the district shall be reported and used to determine accountability ratings.

…..2.10.4 State Accountability: If there are more than 15 students in the aggregate or in any subgroup, the performance on each DSSF metric within a rated category shall be reported. If there are 30 or more students in the aggregate or in any subgroup, the performance on each DSSF metric within a rated category that is applicable to the State shall be reported and used to determine accountability ratings.

Allow us to inform you how these people do not tell you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth….  From their op-ed in the News Journal.

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Judging by the sheer volume of blog posts, social media blips, and op-eds – clearly, a lot of Delawareans today are questioning the role of testing in our schools.  “Bout time!

Is all this testing worth the time and stress? As parents, we all worry about over-testing our kids. We want our children to focus most of their time on learning, to expand their access to the arts and other aspects of the educational experience. But testing still holds tremendous value. Like $119 million of free Race To The Top cash for “Friends of Jack Markell”…

As parents, teachers, and community members, we need to know how our kids are doing. Proper test data tells us which students and schools need extra help; it also gives clues on how we should best spend our public dollars. Seriously, ha,ha.. on Consultants?  Therefore, we respectfully disagree with House Bill 50, a bill that would create a process to make the state test optional.  Of course your opponents respectfully return the favor since you are peddling little more than junk science.

Aside from the new financial and administrative burden of notifying parents about the “opt out” process and the subsequent tracking required in the bill, we have issues with the idea of mandating the process through the state, when it is already being dealt with locally. Silly, the only reason it is being dealt with locally, is because of the intransigence within the state’s governing apparatus.  And one has to laugh insidiously at your first sentence, since the current DOE is suffering considerable more financial and administrative burdens this year, trying to combat the opt-out movement. You can’t have cookies and eat them too… 

Parents should always have the right to remove their children from anything they deem harmful. Here! Here! Which is exactly why we need House Bill 50 passed, thank you for your support.  And legislation already exists to provide accommodations for children with special needs, (thanks Nichole) allowing parents to choose (as some already have) at the local level to not participate in testing. (They just admitted they can do nothing if your board opts out) We argue that if our legislature makes the state test optional by putting opt out language in state code, it would undermine the inherent value of a regular and comparable measure of student progress, especially in the middle of the current testing window we are in right now.  And we would argue that there is a toxic harmful contingent to the Smarter Balanced Assessment, not found in any previous tests, that is so excessively psychologically abusive,… that 100% of child psychologists have stressed parents SHOULD NOT LET THEIR CHILD TAKE THIS TEST.

Here are four reasons why testing is important. First, we need a common measure of whether a child is on track to succeed in life after school, or whether he needs extra help. Some might argue, “We already give report cards, isn’t that good enough?” Unfortunately, no. Without a common measuring stick, our definitions of success will vary from school to school, class to class, and state to state.  Ah ha.  What about the NAEP?  And we had the DCAS… and prior to that the DSTP… We still have the SAT, the PSAT, the PISA’s,  We already have data out the kazoo… That is 6 measuring sticks already.. Why then must we put in a seventh test that is incompetent, poorly designed, racially profiling, and abusive to every child taking it? 

Second, the Smarter Balanced test marks an evolutionary step forward for students. It measures new skills that our young people need to succeed in the future. Guessing is not a new skill, sorry to burst your bubble. It’s not a typical bubble test; it’s taken online (with Egyptian hieroglyphics (see for yourself on page 4)), and requires students to not only recall information, but to think critically and solve problems—two skills they need now more than ever. Are you smarter than a 5th Grader?  Any parent who takes these tests, and thinks critically, will quickly come to the conclusion that to solve their problem, they need to opt out their child. Last week, most of Delaware’s colleges and universities announced they will accept this test as a measure of “college readiness.”  Actually they said that the SAT and this test were equally bad, so they might as well use this one too.  Since then, more than 190 colleges out of 4140 or 4.5% around the country followed suit, allowing thousands of students to jump right into credit-bearing college courses after their junior year. (Can we see your data as to WHAT colleges did such?)  University of Phoenix?  Strayer?)

Third, as policymakers decide how to allocate resources and adjust policies from year to year, they need to know what is working and what isn’t. Ha, ha!  That didn’t work when they decided to replace what was working the DCAS with something that isn’t… the smarter balanced. Did it now, Greg Lavelle?  The state test is the only measure we have that is given throughout the academic life of a child.  Today’s eleventh graders will be tested on three different separate tests.  The Smarter, the DCAS, the DSTP… None of them are the same. May we ask what do you smoke? For if what you said had merit, the first test would never have been changed, so obviously we don’t have to take this one test and we should opt out to make it go away. We already know what would happen if such a benchmark did not exist. Less than two decades ago, generations of young people, particularly poor children and children with special needs, were lost in school-wide averages or not tested. We can’t turn back the clock. Not so. The generation before that, turned out today’s doctors, lawyers, dietitians, clergy, scientists. engineers, governors and chiefs for change, and it was all done without any state mandated standardized testing. So if it worked well then, and what we have is not working well now, doesn’t it make a lot of sense to go back to what we did then?  

Fourth, opting out doesn’t make sense for taxpayers. Actually it does. We spend close to $1.2 billion on education in Delaware, a full third of our state budget. Not having any measure of how those public dollars are being spent would be simply irresponsible. We had the DCAS, before that, the DSTP.  We still have the SAT, the PSAT, the PISA, the NAEP, all of which tell us the levels our children are learning relative to those in other states… So why did our state just increase our spending up to $65 million to implement this one test alone?  (Thanks again, Greg Lavelle). Seems like opting out of the Smarter Balanced Consortium by the state of Delaware makes 65 million bits of sense for our taxpayers…..We think your interpretation of “irresponsible” is a little off. 

The end-game of the opt-out advocates is unclear. Actually, not so. The point is to get rid of the Smarter Balanced Assessment and its bed-mate, Common Core. If the intent is to get rid of testing all together, that would be problematic for the reasons described above. If one supports annual testing, but opposes this particular test, then why not try this one out and course correct?  And If one supports disciplining children but opposes throwing them into a wood chipper, why not try it out and course correct?  It is exactly the same analogy. 100% of child psychologists say this test is harmful to children psychologically and  insist, that every child opts out of taking this one test because it is so abusive and cruel. And you would to, if you took the test. We are in year one of Smarter Balanced, and can modify it next year. Yes, but that chlld carries that bullet in his head for life. Opt out now. If the intent is to encourage some children to opt out to make a point, that too is problematic. But far less problematic than having a test so many people abhor, permanently etched on that child’s permanent record for life, forever saying, THIS CHILD IS A BIG FAILURE. If top-performing children opt out, it paints an overly negative picture of their teachers, their school, and our state’s, performance. And if ALL students opt out, it paints a negative picture of Rodel, Dave Sokola, Greg Lavelle, Jack Markell, Penny Schwinn, Mark Murphy, Deborah Wilson, and Paul Herdeman, which is your primary concern, not our little sons and daughters. … And if low-performing students opt out, they may not get the help they need. Exactly, help like prioritizing their school, firing 50% of their teachers, bringing in your friend to play-act as a leader for $160,000 dollars a year… abolishing teachers unions, filling in fired teacher vacancies with cheap substitute teachers to keep costs down and help pay for that $160,000 salary of your “friend”,  Oh, yes, as well as dismissing reports from independent agencies rating those schools as being A+…. We’ve seen our idea of help, and our answer is:  no thank you. 

Support for annual testing is not an isolated point of view. Twenty-seven civil rights groups, ranging from the NAACP to the Urban League, back annual assessments after receiving billions from the Gates Foundation in support of Common Core. . The National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislators, the Business Roundtable, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (all of which have extremely untrustworthy reputations right now… In fact, a safe be tis if they support something, it is very bad). have all recently gone on the record and emphatically stated that having a common assessment once a year in grades three through eight and once in high school is critical.  But did they say the Smarter Balance Assessment is the test that should be the one to do so?  No… The problem is this test, stupid… It’s the test stupid!  As parents you must opt out  your children en masse to quash the corporatization of public education and improve education over the long term.

Should we reduce testing? Yes. Should we do it by banning the Smarter Balanced Assessment?  “Yes” as well. But that reduction has to follow from a comprehensive inventory of the local and state tests being utilized today. Wait, what? This is already underway. This is so stupid. The people of Rodel and the DOE don’t even know what testing is going on in Delaware, but bloggers do?  Of course they do.  They are lying here.  We already have all the evidence we need.

Will the roll out of any new test be perfect? Unlikely. Excuse me… you forgot to tell us why we had to have a new test for $65 million when the old test was working just fine… Hello… Hello.. Can you answer that question please?   That’s why we support the state’s decision to push off the implications of the assessment on teacher evaluations for two years. This allows time for everyone involved to see how it’s working and to make adjustments as needed.  So you’d throw your child into a wood chipper, but wait to evaluate its effect after two years… and make changes if necessary… This reasoning is so darkly sardonic, it is actually funny. People, really!.. It’s about YOUR child.  Not the state. Not the measurements. Not the data. Not the rankings. None of the entire spiel just put to you above… It is about YOUR child. Your child does not deserve to be thrown in a wood chipper… But he can’t do this on his own.  You have to step up. You have to play the adult. You have to stop these people from throwing your child into those shrieking whirling blades. Once they ouch your child, whether good or bad, there is no going back. Nothing good ever comes out of a wood chipper. Be the adult. Opt them out… 

People throughout Delaware are engaged and mobilized around education. And that’s a good thing. We respect parents’ choices at the local level, but we oppose HB50. An optional state test would rob Delaware of critical information. How can we move forward without first knowing where we are? Thanks for asking.

A.  Immediately Pass HB 50.

B.  Then get Delaware out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment, and abandon Common Core.

C.  Use other existing tests to compare schools if needed or return to the DCAS.  It’s development is free.

D.  Pass significant funding allowing for an 11:1 student teacher ratio in grades k-5 and also in 9th grade, in all schools where the free lunch level is over 50%.  That funding can be found by taxing the top 1% fairly. 

E. Remove Charter Schools from Delaware, or have them no longer steal money from public schools by paying for them as we currently do vocational schools, line items in the state budget. 

Do these, we move forward… with our students… not some lobbyist’s paid client…....

Delaware will tout the betterment of their graduation rate.  Before dissecting it, we should all be grateful that most people are staying through up to the end….

Let us look at this class so cited:  the class of 2014….. which graduated last summer….

Here is the average time line….

  • Kindergarten 2001-2002.
  • 1st Grade 2003
  • 2nd Grade 2004  DSTP
  • 3rd Grade 2005   DSTP
  • 4th Grade 2006   DSTP
  • 5th Grade 2007   DSTP
  • 6th Grade 2008   DSTP
  • 7th Grade 2009   DSTP
  • 8th Grade 2010   DSTP
  • 9th Grade 2011   DCAS
  • 10th Grade 2012 DCAS
  • 11th Grade 2013
  • 12th Grade  2014

    So at best the lower graduation rates give rise to the benefit of the DCAS and DSTP before the smarter balanced assessments.

Which means, since the Smarter Balanced Assessment is starting this year, the after affects will begin to hit two years from now, and continue to be felt 10 years hence…

Opt your child out now… Why should your child’s record show a failing grade from a bogus test?  That test grade stays on his record for life… compared to a note that his parents opted him out when the Smarter Balanced was taken…

Opt out your child ,,,,.

Now that we’ve started growing our economy, it has become a persistent theme… “We need money for this”; “we need money for that”; “we need money for both and for other things too”.  “We need money”, pure and simple.. Am I not right? Pick up any paper. Listen to any radio newscast; read any internet news source…. (did you notice I completely ignored television entirely? You should ignore them too if you don’t already ).

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but (and this is a theoretical question…):  when you want something that you don’t have….a)  do you go asking for it among people who don’t have any themselves, or b) among people who have lots of it to spare?

Hmmm. I wonder…. (finger on chin; one eye looking at the sky)  Should I ask those who have, … or those who don’t have….

Which makes Markell’s asking our Seniors to forgo their credit on school taxes allegedly to balance the budget, nonsensical..  Especially when the top 1% of Delawareans by simply adding a few lines to the tax code. can cough up $70 million a year… (enough to roughly fund 3 years of casino shortfalls) and not experience any loss of spendable cash,

So why would someone ignore those who COULD give, and threaten those who have NOTHING to give?  There are probably many reasons, but none meet the level of good straight forward reasoning… For if you truly want something, asking someone who doesn’t have it is absolutely pointless….

What Seniors don’t have, the 1% does have;  (that is why they are in the one percent.)

So, being theoretical again, wouldn’t it make great sense to turn the tables on Markell and actually go forward and spitefully raise the taxes on HIS friends, those in the top one percent, oh… let us say…. about the same percent that his tax hike would have hit Seniors pinching pennies on limited incomes… to around the percentage of a 100% increase….

So it would come out that on incomes over let us say, $100 million dollars, instead of the 6% they are currently assessed, (the exact same percent as someone earning $60,000) we would hit them with a 100% increase (another 6%)  and bump that owed amount to 12%…  We could then graduate the layers from 6% to 9% over a range of income levels.. and except for the rates on the top echelons, the percentages would still be lower than neighboring New Jersey.

This gives us $70 million in new revenue. Each and every year… We can even blow it on the casino’s if we want….

We need the General Assembly to respond to Markell’s challenge with a tax increase of this nature.   Now, the point is really not so much of whether it passes or not..  But the point is that by having a progressive coalition sponsor and at the very least, put it on the floor, (especially those who hail from districts where doing such would make them a cult hero for life, and cost them zero switched votes since no millionaire would ever vote for them anyway), it becomes a bone of contention, and a topic of conversation in letters-to-the-editor pages across this state; on Al Mascitti and Rick Jensen; on WDDE and other WGMD down south, and gets talked about on both sides…

Because there is a funny thing that always happens when good ideas get talked about in the open, and one can hear both sides.  They start to get followers.  And as more and more followers pile on, as more and more support for this bill becomes apparent..  as more people start supporting what appears to be a very common sensical means of pulling our society back together, of fixing the broken door jambs that have been stepped over too long, of repairing leaking cracks too long ignored across our aged infrastructure (in both physical and human capital), then Jack will rue the day he ever threatened Senior with tax hikes they could never pay…. while ignoring those who can easily pay 10, 15, 20, 30, 40 times the amounts we will be asking of them.

And the idea that we have to cut back now on very essential stuff in what is now a richly growing economy,  all because we don’t have money when it is there, right in front of us, dangling for us to take it: is plain stupid.  Really…  Would YOU not cash in a winning Powerball ticket because you didn’t want Powerball LLC. to lose any money over you?   Somethings are smart. Some things are really dumb… Not cashing in a winning Powerball, or not raising the tax rates on the top one percent, are both…. about as equally dumb.

The point of placing this bill on the table, is that if we generate significant conversation and make a run at passing a 12% top state tax rate, or even just get that conversation out there, and get 500,000 Delawarean voter’s hopes up that yes, this legislature might finally do something responsible, and still fail by being one or two votes short… the very fact we did so helps it become far easier to have the General Assembly slip in and vote on the last day of session, a bill that raises the wealthy’s rates by 1%, or 2%, or 3%, or 4%…. And that, would be a godsend to Seniors…..

Society across the board has simply outgrown all this “cut taxes to grow” hype.  We tried it; it failed; now we remember the good years back when taxes were a tiny bit higher and we were all, everyone of us, far much happier, far better off, and all of us facing what looked to be a very, very bright future. …

My national antithesis put it very well this way.

“I think the people who support Common Core out of good intentions do not realize the bad side of Common Core. Beyond the emotional arguments, the philosophical arguments, and the crazy arguments—there are a lot of crazy arguments both for and against Common Core—there is a very practical argument the Common Core supporters have no answer for.

Moms cannot help their children with math homework. Reporters who are single and Common Core supporters without kids may not be able to relate here or identify with this, but that’s why this is such a sleeper issue. Moms cannot help their kids with math homework and that’s creating most of the rage against Common Core.

That is why we fight.  That is why we opt out.