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Hats off to Widener University for coming up with this idea.

With the demise of inBloom, the  threat of loose ends of our children’s data becoming unclaimed property, and then being claimed by someone we parents don’t approve, is real..

We are already in the computer era. We can’t really go back to shuffling papers.

The answer is simple.  We give every child a secret number.  That child is known from the earliest entry into the educational system only by that number.  (The parents keep it)  The child doesn’t need to know.  Somewhere deep in our educational bureaucracy will be a master list that for the most part never gets seen.  Only there can one look up the name and find the number.

So if number 8675309 gets an “A”. that is how it gets published.  Open source, everyone can see 8675309 got an “A. ” If 8675309 gets top honor on their test; that is how it gets published. Everyone can see that 8675309 got top honors on their test.  When you as a parent want to review your child’s file, you go to an open source, where all the data is viewable to all, and look up the number. No one else ever knows who that number represents.

This allows data to be processed for sociological studies without ever being traced back to this kid or that kid…. This allows the freedom to see how a school is doing student by student, and posting it out in the open, without anyone knowing or being able to find out who those real human beings are….

Instead of chasing around every single byte of data connected to a child’s name in effort to secure it.  we just have to secure the master list that correlates real people to fake numbers…

Thank you Widener University.

 

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From the CBO, we have it outlined like this… If we raise minimum wage to 10.10, we lose 500,000 jobs.  If we raise it to $9.00 we lose 100,000 jobs…

Is it better to work and receive more money, or is it better to have more people working for less, but at least they are working….

Great question.  There were 3.3 million people making minimum wage in 2013…. The wage will jump from $7.25 to $10.10 or jump from $7.25 to $9.00.   The first is an increase of  $2.85; the second is an increase of $1.75…  The impact of that increase on 3.3 million people are as follows.

3.3 million X  $2.85  =  $9.405 million/hour increased purchasing power

3.3 million x  $1.75  =   $5.775 million/hour increased purchasing power

3.3 million X $0 (no change)  =  $0.00   No change; same as it every was.

But wait.  Job losses are bound to occur.  If we take the CBO’s estimate, we get the first minus 500,000; the second minus 100,000.

(3.3 million  -500,000) X  $2.85  =  $ 7.98  million/hour economic benefit

(3.3 million  -100,000) X  $1.75  =   $ 5.60  million/hour economic benefit

(3.3 million- 0)  X $ 0 (no change)  =  $0.00 no change from the past

There you go… We get more economic push by going with the $10.10 number despite the possible loss of jobs.  .We got an answer.  Gee. What was so hard about that?

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Appendix:

Someone  else brought up the idea that those people put out of work, have a negative influence upon the equation… To be honest prior to their mentioning it, at first, I really hadn’t thought about it. It never occurred to me, because mathematically they would be zeros. Interesting, huh? How the brain works?  My focus was on how much positivity a minimum wage increase would generate…  And because of my positivity I have trouble accepting that there is a negative influence for letting those people go. But just in case there is, let me put it down here as well since someone brought up the fact that those leaving the work force would be decreasing the total pool of potential earnings by their future estimated earnings with which had they been previously working.   Which in this case,  would be the minimum wage rate… applied at both the levels of 500,000 and 100,000….

((3.3 million  -500,000) X  $2.85)  – (500,000 X  $7.25)  =  $ 4.355  million/hour economic benefit

((3.3 million  -100,000) X  $1.75)  – (100,000 X  $7.25)  =   $ 4.875  million/hour economic benefit

(3.3 million- 0)  X $ 0 (no change)  =  $0.00 no change from the past….

That changes the impact. There are several problems with this last model. One, is that its total, is a theoretical rate representing everyone working per hour.  Those being laid off can’t really be a negative against this because everyone who is still working, IS making that much… This is the net increase amount which will be  reported, earned, and taxed. Secondly, if you are out of work you are making zero dollars, and not an actual negative amount which challenges whether the principle is sound to deduct a cost away from the benefit when making  this particular comparison.  One could do so, if one was expostulating a potential benefit which would have to be benchmarked against full employment, and not against the incremental amounts.  For example if we had access to the number of hours worked at minimum wage in this country over a set time period, we could actually make that comparison by plugging in these two rates..

As it stands we can already compare these totals to the status quo, and there is a definite positive bump in economic activity…  Plus, if those temporarily laid-off people get other jobs, ones that actually pay more than minimum wage, then they are off the chart, and that negative is not there at all.  The underlying assumption for there to be an existing negative, is that these people losing their jobs, immediately and forever stop contributing to the economy…

Therefore probably the best comparison to achieve that would be painted like this…

3.3 million X  $2.85  =  $9.405 million/hour increased purchasing power –  (.5 million X 7.250  =  $9.405 –  $3.625  =  $5.78)

3.3 million x  $1.75  =   $5.775 million/hour increased purchasing power  – (.1 million X 7.250  =    $5.775 –  $0.725  =  $5.05 )

3.3 million X $0 (no change)  =  $0.00   No change; same as it every was.

That probably is the best description since it contrasts against the potential possibility of earnings.

But as policy this shows Delaware’s Tom Carper to be very wrong when he was quoted as saying that the lower amount of increase would be best for this country…

..

 

Hey, Joe… we need you to vote this way on this one…   oh, ok.

Versus…..

Hey Steve… we need you to vote this way on this one….    Why?

I’d certainly prefer someone who uses thought and logic to determine what is best for all, as opposed to someone who simply holds space and takes orders from those higher up… I believe you do too…. 

This was a surprise.  Today the Federal Appeals Court ruled against the FCC, and for Comcast and Verizon and AT&T…….

If you’ve always loved your cable company, XOXOXO,  then have no fear.  But….if they have ever pissed you off in your lifetime, GRRRRRR, …be afraid, very afraid.

Essentially what this ruling “could do” is give them unlimited power over what you see, or not see on the internet….. As well as unlimited power over what they can charge for the privilege (no longer your right) to see what ever it is they choose to show you…..

The internet is set become another payola as was the radio….  no matter what station you tune, you hear the same 10 songs, unless of course, you always listened to WVUD….. And the reason you hear the same 10 songs, is because those record companies paid the 10 highest fees to the corporate entity overseeing the  music selection….

Now do you see where we are headed?

Ever heard of Netflicks?  Of course you have.  Dump your stock.  They will now be charged between $75- 115 million extra a year, just to have their movies carried by Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T..

Prefer to use Google over the Alta Vista search engine on the Comcast Site?  Expect to pay a premium.  Wish to see a video from your children in South Africa?  Expect to pay for it….  YouTube?  Will now be pay in advance….

At stake is “common carriage”.  It is a centuries old premise that if someone operates in the public arena, one must allow all the same option to use it.  One can’t for example, run a ferry and not allow his mother in law to cross, or Ted Cruz… If one is providing a public service, under common carriage principles he must not discriminate between parties….

This was one of the tenants that helped strike down bus segregation in the Old South, the fact that this age old principle was violated.

However… what happened…. was in 2005, the Supreme Court in their “Brand X” decision, decided that broadband (and wireless), was NOT a common carriage entity under existing law… Phones, yes; old cable, yes; but broadband… no…   The current court used that decision to say that since broadband was NOT a regulate common carrier provider (even though obviously it is), it did not have to comply with the common carriage principles every other entity has to follow….. Broadband is not a telecommunications network, and therefore FCC rules DO NOT APPLY.

The 2011 FCC rules being challenged in this court case, essentially state that broadband providers cannot block competing traffic on their network or discriminate against another company’s services that ride over its network in order to benefit its own competing services.

Here are the fears.

Net neutrality supporters have long worried that a broadband provider, such as Comcast, may purposely slow down traffic from an Internet company, such as Netflix, that uses its network to deliver services. In this case, Comcast could slow down the video streams of Netflix, making it impossible for Comcast broadband customers to use this service, which competes against Comcast’s own on-demand video service.

This happened immediately after the  decision.  Try going to the EFF site, Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization hostile to corporate takeover of the internet.  It takes 5 minutes to load each page, and all other sites take under a second.  I tried it repeatedly with always the same results.  Prior to the decision, it had always been in an instant.  So obviously now that companies can do what ever they want, any website critical or your cable company, is getting dissed…  (No wonder Chris Coons uncharacteristically is sucking up to the Cable Industry.)  If Christine O’Donnell runs again, she will be the only candidate in the race, according to the internet…. unless you do “their” bidding.

Broadband providers could create tiers of service that would require Internet companies trying to reach their customers over this infrastructure to pay a fee for a certain quality of service. For example, Amazon may pay Verizon to prioritize its traffic to ensure that its streaming services get a better quality of service or so that its Web pages load more quickly. Net neutrality supporters say such a system would relegate smaller Internet companies, which cannot afford to pay for priority service, to a slower and less reliable Internet. These Net neutrality advocates say this will stifle innovation.

The court ruling could pave the way for broadband operators and backbone Internet providers, which provide the nationwide infrastructure for the Internet, to create new revenue streams by charging Internet companies, such as Amazon, Google, and Netflix fees for offer priority delivery of their content.

Mozilla responded with this…

“Giving Internet service providers the legal ability to block any service they choose from reaching end users will undermine a once free and unbiased Internet. In order to promote openness, innovation, and opportunity on the Internet, Mozilla strongly encourages the FCC and Congress to act in all haste to correct this error.”

And that is the solution.  The FCC can simply redirect broadband and wireless to be back in the public domain, and net neutrality can continue.

Or Congress can pass legislation demanding he same.

Or the Supreme Court can overturn the Appeals Court’s decision.

It comes down to our rights  to free access of knowledge, versus a corporation’s right to make money.  As has been the trend lately, the Court decided the trump suit was a corporation’s right to make money….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Real Way to Achieve Educational Reform
Courtesy of Arizona Daily Star/Fitzsimmons

Finally data is proving the point.  In Florida, the Department of Education publishes their study showing :

  • Of the 209 schools in Miami-Dade and Broward with at least 90 percent of students receiving free or reduced lunch, 78 percent received a grade of C or worse. Roughly 39 percent of these high-poverty schools received a D or F.
  • Of the 43 local schools with much lower poverty rates (30 percent or fewer students receiving free or reduced lunch), 86percent received an A, and none received a D or F.

This is in spite of Florida’s (aka Jeb Bush) concentrated attempt to bridge the gap.  Florida’s school letter grades are heavily influenced by standardized test scores. Because test scores drive the calculation — and because research shows that poorer students don’t perform as well on those tests — the better grades assigned to wealthier schools are not a complete surprise.

So are testing grades measuring how well a school teaches kids, or are they simply a reflection of how much money the parents of those students have?

The grades have remain lopsided in Florida even after the state added student learning gains to the formula in 2002. In theory, adding student growth was supposed to give poorer schools a better shot at success, as they would be rewarded for boosting the performance of students

It appears that in spite of all we can do…. and I mean all we can do…. that education will continuously have a direct correlation with income of each student’s parents.  One entry grade teacher remarked you can tell who will be good coming in,  just by how comfortable they are in holding a book.

(Editor’s Note:  Here is where you throw your hands up in the air)

Time to try something new.  I present the kavips Formula for funding schools.

Take the test results from the past year 2013. Off to the side is a percentage of students receiving free lunch. Use that percent of increase as a modifier for this year’s budget. If a school is at 19% low income, they get 119% of their previous budget. If a school is at 90% low income, give them 190% of their budget. All others in between, use the same formula.

What we are doing is applying money at the point where the problem is. All too often, incompetent administrators blame parents. Blah, blah, blah, parents, blah, blah, blah. Well, except for shaming one or two, making a dent in that is entirely out of everyone’s control What we should be focused on, is how do we make an impact considering all the poverty surrounding these school’s neighborhoods?

So how did civilization survive the Dark Ages of medieval times? There were far more of them, than us back then. Civilized man built fortresses, behind which he could retreat if necessary. They preserved civilization inside the high walls, because it sure wouldn’t last outside them. Taking a clue from that, we make our schools fortresses. Not pillars of forebodence, but a welcoming place separate and safe from the real world. A place of no bullies, a place of lots of healthy food, a place to do homework after school, a place to sing, a place to paint, a place to read or get read to. A place to discuss life in the neighborhood, where people really were interested in what you had to say. A place to bring mom. or dad. that had things for them to do. Heck, even let them catch up and finish their missing degrees.

But a fortress to protect civilization. To be sure there will be those who try to crush it. Just as during the medieval time slot, dark knights would try to undo the good they correctly saw taking away their livelihood of crime.

So. lets jump forward one step further and look at this example. You are a new teacher. You get a choice. You can go to the inner city where you will make a huge impact, change lives and perhaps the course of history, and have 90% increase to spend in supplies over what you would if you stayed in the safe suburbs. Or perhaps you are a new principal out to make a name for yourself. You can take over an inner city school, with almost double (+90%) the state money of a suburban school, or stay in your suburban and doggedly try not to slip backwards with less funding.

This counters the reality of today’s practices. Today we cut back and starve our inner-city schools, yet lavish funds on our suburban affluent ones.

And we wonder why test scores mirror the poverty line almost exactly! If someone is ignorant, testing 47 times isn’t going to teach anything. You get the same answer each time.

Money to testing, is just being thrown away. Better instead, to allow a school to receive more, the higher its student’s poverty levels are! That would be “real” education reform….

(Note, this concept was on Rodel‘s original plank (2008), but if you look up their recommendations now, increased funding is completely out of their syllabus.) (The 1%’rs got squeamish)…

Examples:

In Cape Henelopen District:

Brown (W. Reily) Elementary School with a low Social Economic Score of 76.7% gets a 77% budget increase.
Dover Air Force Base Middle School with a low Social Economic Score of 14.0 % gets a 14.0 % budget increase.
Fifer (Fred) Middle School with a low Social Economic Score of 57.2 % gets a 57.2 % budget increase.
Frear (Allen) Elementary with a low Social Economic Score of 52.0% gets a 52.0% budget increase.
Postlethwait (F. Niel) Middle School with a low Social Economic Score of 45.7% gets a 45.7% budget increase.
Simpson (W.B.) Elementary School with a low Social Economic Score of 51.6 % gets a 51.% budget increase.
Star Hill Elementary School with a low Social Economic Score of 37.3% gets a 37.3% budget increase.
Stokes (Nellie Hughes) Elementary School with a low Social Economic Score of 62.7% gets a 62.7% budget increase.
Welch (Major George S.) Elementary School with a low Social Economic Score of 28.2% gets a 28.2% budget increase.

Who Do You Trust?

Data compiled from here.

This was fascinating; exploring all the ideas as to “why” these countries are rated as high as they are.

Those who have traveled extensively, would probably agree with the assessment. I was pleasantly surprised that all my favorite nations scored high.

How did yours do?

Irregardless, one can see some very viable trends.

Please read Steve’s reports on Delaware’s offshoot of Homeland Security here, here and here….

We are getting our money’s worth with this bunch, that’s for sure… I wonder when they’ll let civilians drive it? I think the monster mile would be a good test track for civilians to get the opportunity….

Can you imagine seeing this thing pass you on the Delaware Memorial Bridge and at the apex it goes sailing off into the sky? What will they think of spending our money on next…

(I want one btw. )

In a new parlor game, reminiscent of one played in Uncle Scrooge’s nephew’s house on Christmas Day present,  the question was:… what is the biggest difference between the Head of Delaware’s Senate, and  the Head of Delaware’s House?

……………………….   Finally after multiple answers, all correct but deemed wrong, we get the answer.

One  licks the governor’s butt on rare occasion; the other licks it all session long.

That was too poetic not to pass on.

Common Core is being defeated.  Some states like Delaware are doubling down which is about as effective as using children fo stem the Russian Invasions of Berlin.  Most states are abandoning the idea before they lose their investment…..

Common Core is actually uniting various groups once thought completely unmixable, bonding them in opposition to its implementation.  Called “Obamacore” by Conservatives.. Called a “Mistake” by Teachers Unions. Called a “Boondoggle” by state legislators trying to find ways to pay for its cost. Called a “National Disgrace” by Progressives worried over its damage to our international competitiveness. Called a “Tyranny” by the Tea Party, outraged over the complete loss of local control…

One entity still defends it.  Wall Street and those who serve it.

For those of you who don’t know, Common Core was actually developed by our state’s Governors. Jack Markell was a one of the leaders who pushed this. The program was then adopted by Obama and under his secretary of Education, Arne Duncun, all federal money as been tied to its implementation.

In fairness, I like Common Core. It embodies most of the ideas I have stressed since blogging.  However, though it sounds great in theory, I must admit, it is not working.   Our children are being denied a great education because we are teaching remedial math and remedial English over and over again for one reason…. to boost test scores.   The reason for this focus on test scores,is because that is how we determine which schools we will close down, which principals will be forced to resign, and which teachers will be fired.

Obviously in that environment, all a child will learn, is how to take the test, and how to score the most points with their answers.  Nothing of which will help them or help us in the real world when they become our newest generation of the employed….

The problem is not with the principles or aims of Common Core. The problem lies with the tests and their current use as a weapon to hold over people’s heads.  The tests were meant to be used as a tool for analysis…  How much did Johnny know in September. How much does Johnny know in January?  How much will Johnny know in June?  What a great tool if it were honestly applied and not doctored up, contorted, or flagrantly adjusted in order to prevent a horrible outcome that has absolutely nothing to do with each student’s educational needs!

From the American Teachers Union –Randi Weingarten….““The Common Core is in trouble, There is a serious backlash in lots of different ways, on the right and on the left.”

Across the nation states are rushing out tests based on the new standards without preparing teachers and designing new curricula… Here the states are saying… “Take this test you’ve never seen. If you don’t do good, you’ll lose your job.” “Kid, on this test you’ve never seen, you did bad. You can’t graduate despite your 4.0 average.” “Ladies and Gentlemen; parents of this district! Your attention please! We have to close this school because your students, failed this test on stuff they’ve never seen.”

That is why parents are fighting back. 8 moms in Texas have pushed a bill in Texas to roll back the number of tests required to graduate from 15 to 5. Governor Perry will veto it.

That is why one child in five fails the Texas standard tests.

Alabama, Indiana, Georgia and South Dakota have legislation ongoing to pull or modify Common Core Standards.

Kentucky just had a 30-40 point drop in scores because of Common Core. The assessment you took this year was much more rigorous than anything that you’ve had before. It takes three or four years for the teachers and the kids to catch up.

But legislators are not the ground level.. Teachers are. New York put a message board so teachers could comment on issues they were having with Common Core implementation….. Most of the comments are negative.

There is something wrong with the timing of this test. I thought we were testing kids on their ability to really read closely but all they had time to do was rush rush rush. Also what was weird was the passages were not that hard – so it’s not going to look that hard. And the questions weren’t that hard. But the answers were ridiculous. Adults with PhDs wouldn’t have known which were the right answers sometimes – really. But when you have barely a minute to think about it, it really became a test of how much you could rush or how much you could remember off the top of your head….

My sixth grader was in tears after the second day of the test. Didn’t even get to the essay – has NEVER had that happen before. What’s the point of making kids feel this awful about themselves? He’s a good student, now he feels terrible

What’s up with reading four pages of directions to the kids before they start? My English Language Learners were in a daze…

Watched my child do test prep booklets, test prep mornings, test prep afterschool, even test prep Saturdays. Then she didn’t even get to finish the test. Taking her to a bookstore this afternoon to find some real reading..

Third graders had to keep rereading and rereading these long answers to find them in the passages. Is that really what we want third graders doing? I’m worried about them poring over these small details forever.

The test wasn’t hard at all but timely. Students couldn’t finish the exam. How can we judge students on an essay when they weren’t able to do the essay because of timing. Common core wasn’t written to test speed reading it was written I believe for deeper comprehension. Its almost as if we set up our students for failure. Also for a company to use text from their books in an exam seems unethical and unfair. Lastly I wonder if the writers of the test should be judged on some of the grammatical errors that occurred in the answers that seemed not to make sense and often times looked like two choices could answer the questions…..

Including questions that were both tedious to interpret and would require the stamina of an Olympic athlete to answer is at best unrealistic, and at worst, cruel. I am also baffled by the decision to include texts that are recommended on the Engage NY website in terms of level of complexity for 7th graders, on a 5th grade exam. Is the message for teachers then that grade-level reading is now inadequate and instead, all students should be reading several grades above their level?…

Is your blood boiling yet? If you have children, I’d be willing to bet it is….

Spend an evening reading what is really going on with Common Core….

Then, do something about it….. Start with calling your Governor….

Lucy Calkins, a professor at Teachers’ College at Columbia University: “I’m a big supporter of the Common Core. I wrote the best-selling book about it,” Calkins said. “But this makes even me question it.”