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The News Journal in an attempt to muddy the resolve of the few attending parents actively involved in their children’s education, is trying to roll out the case for RTTT sponsored by Jack Markell…

The overall primary question is who is best to run our schools?   Corporate for profit entities?  Or people who get voted in by members of their district?

Big question.  Should we even trust these school board members who have been involved with education most of their lives?  Shouldn’t we instead, trust companies who will make millions off the tests they forced upon us?

Hmmm……

The issue is simple.  RTTT funding must have qualifiers attached.  That was needed to make this not look like the stimulus it really was.   One of those qualifiers is that teachers must be paid low, and if successful, receive a big bonus.  However, all teachers get paid low, only a priveleged few who are well connected, get the big bonuses.

Recognizing this earlier than most other districts, probably due the the wisdom of having worked with Eli Broad candidates before, one who bankrupted the district by $19 million dollars, the Christina District wants to refuse that money.   However they will take it if they can instead break that $20,000 dollar bonus and spread it out to twenty well deserving people, who will receive bonuses of $1000 dollars each.  The Department of Education is balking at that, because it spolls their plan of giving $20,000 to a certain person…..

Now there is one more thing.  It will cost the Christina District some of their own money to implement the things the DOE wants done.  In otherwords, the DOE allots say $500 for a Career Fair, but, the actual cost is something like $2,500.  That mean that to receive this RTTT money in question, … on this one event, it will cost the local board an additional $2000 they weren’t planning to spend.  Does that make sense?

Bluntly, it is like a loan shark came to your door to give you $20 dollars, yep, $20 dollars just like that. Just for nothing… Just sign on the dotted line to say you got it… As you read you see this:  Contractee must pay back money along with $30 borrowing fee.  So, if you take that $20 dollars, … it’s going to cost you $50….

This is why the board is debating getting woo-hoo free money.  It is not free.

This post is to see if the Board can get along without it?  The information was created and publicized by the News Journal Opinion piece to make people upset money was being turned downed.  Here is what that money would go to……

Funding for: college and career fairs at high schools and middle schools, college and career centers in each high school; STEMs program focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics – two high schools, one middle school and two elementary schools that struggle in those subjects; revisions to career and technical pathways at high schools that are aligned with state and federal job market data; expansion of Advanced Placement coursework and extra supports to help under-represented groups in those core areas; “graduation guides,” to help students meet graduation requirements – this is particularly important for ninth-graders, where state data shows the potential for leaving school begins; a series of professional development courses for teachers and school leaders, including a pilot project to allow teachers who have mastered their subject skills to boost the instructional deficiencies among their peers; project-based learning at four high-need schools and community forums for parent engagement.

Let’s break it down, shall we?

college and career fairs at high schools and middle schools, …  Put some tables up, invited people to come down and speak about their schools.  That can be done without additional funding.

college and career centers in each high school,…. Just curious.  If the focus is supposed to be on those “not graduating”. why is RTTT money being diverted towards people who will graduate?  And, none of our schools growing up, had college and career centers.  We had college catalogs on a shelf.

STEMs program focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics – two high schools, one middle school and two elementary schools that struggle in those subjects;  ok, this could use funding. More later.

revisions to career and technical pathways at high schools that are aligned with state and federal job market data.  Career and technical pathways?  Revisions?   This can be done in the DOE office in one afternoon.  Just look at the Federal Guidelines, and change the district to meet them…. (you go here, and you go there).  Not necessary for any child.  Perhaps it’s just me, but I can’t see how this helps one child who is otherwise happy to be doing what he is doing.?

expansion of Advanced Placement coursework and extra supports to help under-represented groups in those core areas;  again, if we aren’t graduating enough, how does advance placement change that?  This is money going to the top, and again, leaving Jea Street’s, Tom Gordan’s, and Dennis Williams’ constituents in the dirt.  Expansion of Advanced Placement Coursework, sounds like a purchase,  a buy in, perhaps allowing for the transfer of state money into one more private firm selling the us the untested course material.  Not sure if that helps the problem we have in education.  Not sure what the extra support mentioned would be, however, if it were teachers or tutor working with Advance Placement, that could be beneficial…

“graduation guides,” to help students meet graduation requirements – this is particularly important for ninth-graders, where state data shows the potential for leaving school begins.  I am glad they focused on 9th grade.   But here is my problem.  We are giving “graduation guides” to explain how to navigate upwards to a graduation requirement, but the problem students are the ones having trouble with division and multiplication… Basics.  A better utilization would be to pour the money into a tutor program, and all ninth graders have to pass through it.  Once cleared, they don’t have to continue and can go on to something else. For what good is a graduation guide, if you don’t KNOW enough to graduate?   Those passing their courses do not need guides.  They are graduating anyways.

a series of professional development courses for teachers and school leaders, including a pilot project to allow teachers who have mastered their subject skills to boost the instructional deficiencies among their peers.  Again?  More courses?  When are they ever going to get time to plan their lessons?  (Oh, we didn’t think of that, we’ve never been teachers)  Teachers have been taking courses ever since the 80’s.  Every year a new program.  Every year a new name, and they have to take a course  and get a new certificate. Each year they get promised it is the best they are being taught, there will be no more, and then next summer, oh, we found this one, it’s the best there is….  One could argue what is wrong with education today, is that teachers are far too busy jumping through hoops, to teach…  However, pairing old teachers with new teachers is good for both.  The pilot program should be safe to fund, but the mentors should be picked by the mentoree.  Having someone score high on a test, then picked to mentor when they have very little experience, shames the program.  The mentoree should pick someone they respect, as a disciple picks his master.

project-based learning at four high-need schools and community forums for parent engagement.   I can’t comment on this right now.  I really don’t know what they are trying to say….

So should Christina fore go 2.3 million in fund for these items which will cost them roughly 1.1 million in additional funding?  Probably, for based on the items above, that money is not going to where it is needed… These are mostly fluff programs.  Programs that sound good enough, one can get General Assembly to fund them, because they sound good.

On the other hand, if Christina CAN spend the money better than the DOE, and can apply that money directly to programs that will serve their purpose, and steer children who are failing into successful lives, … should the state arbitrarily refuse to give it simply because the board is trying to do the right thing for its kids?

For you see, there ARE two sides to this argument.    So far, all we’ve heard is that Christina should comply with the state.  But why should the state withhold the money when Christina can do it better?   Isn’t that the state’s fault, and not the Christina School Districts?

I hope this was enough to show you that the state money if put into programs they want, is just a waste of money.  The money could instead go into programs where it is sorely needed.

Christina’s board voted Tuesday to ask the state for permission to re-purpose $753,000 of the $2.3 million that would have paid for the teacher bonuses and related issues.  That money would be used to boost technology in schools with low test scores or high-risk students. It would go toward the purchase of laptops, tablet computers, and other equipment with the goal of giving technological experience to children who might not otherwise get it.

 

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Eli Broad — the CPA-trained-billionaire-businessman-turned-public-education-reformer — informed Diane Ravitch, a distinguished education expert, about what needs to be done to education in America.  . According to Ravitch, “We talked about school reform for an hour or more, and he told me that what was needed to fix the schools was not all that complicated: A tough manager surrounded by smart graduates of business schools and law schools.

According to Slate quoting Vanity Fair, Eli Broad boasted back in 2006 that he  “plans to virtually take over the Delaware school system in 2007, pending approval from that state’s legislature.” He backed the winning slate of candidates for the local board of education in 1999 and helped hire the superintendent.

Eli Broad trains Superintendents.  Christina School District has been the unfortunate beneficiary of his largess.  Joe Wise, followed by Lillian Lowery, followed by  Marcia Lyles, all are from Eli’s School of Superintendencies….Dr. Joe Wise was selected as a Broad Fellow by Eli Broad Institute for School Boards (2005), was appointed to the Eli Broad Urban Superintendents Academy as a Fellow (2003), and serves on the Broad Academy’s adjunct faculty and advisory committee. Although Broad Superintendents come in highly qualified, they often leave disgracefully. Joe Wise, may have been one of the first. Recently, across this nation many Broad Superintendents have been let go. All trained by the Broad Superintendents Academy: Maria Goodloe-Johnson (class of 2003) of the Seattle school district, LaVonne Sheffield (class of 2002) of the Rockford, Illinois school district, and Jean-Claude Brizard (class of 2008) of the Rochester New York school district. Brizard resigned to take the job as CEO of Chicago schools, but his superintendency in Rochester had been mired in controversy. Another Broad-trained Superintendent recently announced his resignation: Tom Brady (class of 2004) of Providence, Rhode Island, as well as these others from before: Arnold “Woody” Carter (class or 2002), formerly of the Capistrano Unified School District; Thandiwee Peebles,( class of 2002), formerly of the Minneapolis Public School District; and John Q. Porter (class of 2006), formerly of the Oklahoma City Public School District.

Ms. Lillian Lowery (class of 2004), Wise's replacement after supposedly cleaning up Joe Wise's disaster, was put in charge of all Delaware's schools, and now, is in charge of Maryland's. Broad's influence has touched every Delaware Student… and is about to touch all those of Maryland.

Our current head of the Department of Education, Mark Murphy, hails from a group NLNS funded by Eli Broad

If this was a good thing, it would be good.

So, what is the Broad influence?

Here is one take. It is one of the three influencers of education. Along with the Gates Foundation and the Walton's, it exerts a powerful influence, good or bad. It calls itself a venture philanthropy, as in venture capitalist. Meaning it invests in philanthropy expecting to yield a return on its investment. As an example, it can fund a study that says computers will help inner city kids learn, then sell those recommended computers to that school district.

Here is how it infiltrates a school district. Christina School District to be exact…

The Broad Foundation plants one of its elements in a school district, it is then highly likely they will plant another one along with it, so their influence is maximized.

For instance, an element might be:
– The presence of a Broad-trained superintendent
– The placement of Broad Residents into important central office positions
– An "invitation" to participate in a program spawned by the Foundation (such as CRSS's Reform Governance in Action program)
– Offering to provide the district with a free "Performance Management Diagnostic and Planning" experience

The Broad Foundation likes to infiltrate its targets on multiple levels so it can manipulate a wider field and cause the greatest amount of disruption. Venture edu-philanthropists like Gates and Broad proudly call this invasive and destabilizing strategy “investing in a disruptive force.” To these billionaires and their henchmen, causing massive disruption in communities across the nation is not a big deal.

The Broad Foundation has spent nearly $400 million on its mission of “transforming urban K-12 public education through better governance, management, labor relations and competition.”

That sounds nice. So let us look closer….

The signature effort of the Broad Foundation is its investment in its training programs…The Broad Superintendents Academy runs a training program held during six weekends over ten months, after which graduates are placed in large districts as superintendents. Those accepted into the program (“Broad Fellows”) are not required to have a background in-education; many come instead from careers in the military, business, or government. Tuition and travel expenses for participants are paid for by the Broad Center, which also sometimes covers a share of the graduates’ salaries when they are appointed into district leadership positions. The foundation’s website boasts that 43 percent of all large urban superintendent openings were filled by Broad Academy graduates in 2009.

The Broad Superintendents Academy’s weekend training course provides an “alternative” certification process which has come to supplant or override the typical regulations in many states that require that individuals have years of experience as a teacher and principal before being installed as a school district superintendents….

The Broad Residency in Urban Education is a two-year program, during which individuals with MBAs, JDs, etc. in the early stages of their careers are placed in high-level managerial positions in school districts, charter management organizations, or state and federal departments of education. The Broad Center subsidizes approximately 33 percent of each Resident’s salary.

The Broad Foundation founded the New York City Leadership Academy, which trains individuals to serve as principals in the city public schools, several of whose graduates have been accused of financial misconduct, as well as arbitrary and dictatorial treatment of teachers, students and parents. This was recently featured by Delaware’s WDDE reporting on Reshid Walker who is training in Cape Henelopen under the Delaware Leadership Project. DLP is an alternate certification program that this year is preparing six candidates to work as principals or assistant principals at public schools serving high-risk students in Delaware. Alternate Certification means it sidesteps requirements that a principal has to have stepped foot inside a school before. Through four days a week of on-the-job training, and no certification from an accredited college or university, he will soon be in command of your child’s education.

The Broad Institute for School Boards provides three training programs for elected school board members and non-Broad-trained superintendents conducted in partnership with the Center for Reform of School Systems (CRSS). The Institute trains new board members at a one-week summer residential setting…The Broad Foundation underwrites 80 percent of all program costs through a grant to CRSS.

The Broad Foundation also supports a broad range of pro-charter school advocacy groups, as well as alternative training programs for non-educators who want to work as teachers and principals (Teach for America, New Leaders for New Schools). In addition, the foundation offers free diagnostic “audits” to school districts, along with recommendations aligned with its policy preferences. It produces a number of guides and toolkits for school districts, including a “School Closure Guide,” based on the experiences of Broad-trained administrators involved in closing schools in Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Miami-Dade County, Oakland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Seattle…..

Closing public schools to open opportunities for charters seems to be it’s prime directive. Although not officially enshrined as such, it does seem to be the consistent pattern of each of its graduates.

The foundation provided start-up funding for Parent Revolution (formerly the Los Angeles Parent Union), the group which developed the “Parent Trigger” legislation, designed to encourage the conversion of public schools to charter schools. Broad has also has given large amounts of money to Education Reform Now, a pro-charter school advocacy organization…

Eli Broad has said he “expects to be a major contributor” to Students First, former D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s organization that advocates for the expansion of charters, vouchers, and an end to seniority protections for teachers. The pro-Rhee biography, The Bee Eater, was subsidized by the Broad Foundation as is mentioned on the book jacket.

Of course, there are campaign contributions (you will need to type in Broad, Eli) to facilitate the corporatizing of education… A quick look certifies that his coverage is a who’s who across party lines in Congress. Obviously there will be support for Charters streaming down from the top lines of government.

Ok, so how does all of this affect Delaware’s public school’s families?….
One of the tenets of his philosophy taught to his graduates, is to produce system change by “investing in a disruptive force.” Continual reorganizations, firings of staff, and experimentation to create chaos or “churn” is believed to be productive and beneficial, as it weakens the ability of communities to resist change.

A hallmark of the Broad-style leadership is closing existing schools rather than attempting to improve them, increasing class size, opening charter schools, imposing high-stakes test-based accountability systems on teachers and students, and implementing of pay for performance schemes. The brusque and often punitive management style of Broad-trained leaders has frequently alienated parents and teachers and sparked protests. A long laundry list of Broad Supertendants run out of town can be found here, near the bottom. But you can get an idea of what to expect, from just this one: Robert Bobb (class of 2005), the Emergency Financial Manager of the Detroit Public Schools, recently sent layoff notices to every one of the district’s 5,466 salaried employees, including all its teachers, and said that nearly a third of the district’s schools would be closed or turned over to private charter operators. At a recent town hall which Bobb had called so he could go over his plan, angry students, parents, and teachers drove him from the meeting. He was escorted out by his six bodyguards….

Disruption and chaos indeed…..

Delaware is fortunate to have a large parenting network of watch dogs who communicate well with legislators. Whereas the Christina District has had a rough go with Broad graduates, the rest of the state has so far been unscathed…..
Without the oversight being provided by parents and teachers watchdog organizations, the fate of Delaware’s students might be that of Philadelphia, Chicago, or Detroit.

if you are a parent or know one, you probably feel this way as well. Parents Across America considers Broad’s influence to be inherently undemocratic, as it disenfranchises parents and other stakeholders in an effort to privatize our public schools and imposes corporate-style policies without our consent. We strongly oppose allowing our nation’s education policy to be driven by billionaires who have no education expertise, who do not send their own children to public schools, and whose particular biases and policy preferences are damaging our children’s ability to receive a quality education.

In fact, this entire philosophy of forcing change upon children, strikes every parent as coming from those types of people we all run across, … who hate children…. “Someone smack that kid who’s crying.”

Amen And Amen.

I watched the Sequester take down another man….. Gone, gone, the damage done…..

Just a quick review of the Wilmington News Journal this past week to keep up with exactly all the unnecessary waste and wasteful perks we needed to cut so our billionaire friends won’t have to pay one more single penny of every dollar they earn over the $1 million mark…… .*

Here are those things less important than a penny to a billionaire……

  • Air Force suspended its military tuition assistance program for the remainder of fiscal year 2013, impacting more than 1,000 Dover Air Force Base Airmen…
  • DAFB has already endured deep cuts to flying hour programs, training cancellations and civilian furloughs,,,
  • Delaware will lose approximately $1.4 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 20 teacher and aide jobs at risk.,,,,,
  • 2,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 4 fewer schools would receive funding…
  • Delaware will lose approximately $1.8 million in funds for about 20 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities… including autism.
  • Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 100 children in Delaware,
  • Delaware would lose about $1.1 million in environmental funding ..
  • Delaware’s to lose another $359,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
  • 2,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed or around $7.6 million in payroll no longer hitting Delaware’s economy…
  • Delaware will lose about $83,000 in Justice Assistance Grants,, used to prosecute criminals.
  • Delaware will lose about $86,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement,..
  • 100 disadvantaged and vulnerable children are being dropped from child care, meaning their parent will have to quit work to care for them.
  • Reduced funding for vaccinations of about $26,000. 380 fewer children will receive vaccines
  • Delaware will lose approximately $86,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats..
  •  Delaware will lose about $330,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse..
  • Delaware will lose about $70,000 resulting in around 1,800 fewer HIV tests….
  • Gone are the $19,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence,
  • Gone are the $201,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors, currently the only meal they have.
  • Elimination of inspections to prevent the introduction of foreign pests and diseases into U.S
  • 1,000 fewer grants awarded by the National Science Foundation, and 5.1 percent cuts to the National Institute of Health..

In all, $18 million that would otherwise flow into Delaware’s economy…… The CBO uses this formula to judge the economic impact of Federal cuts.  1.6 times the Federal Cuts =  local economic damage….  Delaware then is facing a slump of  $28.8 million dollars…

And why are we facing all these hardships?

So billionaires won’t have to pay one penny off every dollar they earn over a million….. Just curious,… what part of society do you think deserves and needs that money more?  If we were choosing where in society that money should go to do the most good, would you vote to keep it in a billionaires pocket?

If you are Republican, you would?……..

*(one penny on every dollar earned over 1 million equals almost exactly $85 billion, the amount of the sequester...)

Just a reminder.  The best time was last week, but you can still get value out of your investments if you sell high tomorrow.

The market will jump on rumors out of Washington the next few days, both up and down.  You can track it.  The smart money has already quietly pulled out.  The dumb money is propping up values until the sequester  goes into effect.

There is a possibility you may have missed my two previous arguments for getting out of the market completely.  This will be the last one.

Teaching The Corporate Way

As someone who has given and taken myriads of academic tests, there is a standard rule. Don’t concentrate on the topic; concentrate on the tester. Meaning that if you know how a test is graded, you can outsmart it.

Here are some examples… First , math.

There are many reasons why students equipped with all the necessary math knowledge don’t always score well on the SAT math section, but the main one is unfamiliarity with the exam. Just like any teacher, the Collegeboard employs several tricks to throw students off and reward those who have studied more and have paid closer attention to the details of the exam.

Questions that may not actually be that tough, but a scary graph or new technique will have several students saying “I’ll skip this one and come back to it later…”. If there is a very tricky or intimidating problem towards the beginning or middle, odds are that the question itself is pretty simple, but Collegeboard is attempting to frighten you away from the question.

Since often the underlying math concepts aren’t too challenging in and of themselves, Collegeboard often employs confusing / tricky language to get students to solve for the wrong variable, pick a related (but incorrect) answer choice, or miss out on a crucial piece of information…

The impulse is to start “doing math” as quickly as you can in this timed environment, but unfortunately the Collegeboard knows this and they will trick you if you don’t manage your time to thoroughly read the question and understand what is being asked.

On the Written, here are how you beat the robot scorers….

“Use “plethora”, and “myriad” and 5 other big words.. Don’t be concerned if you are using them incorrectly.
Add a quotation in the fifth paragraph. Don’t worry if it doesn’t fit.
Fill both pages, content doesn’t matter, length does.”

Why? The readers grading these essays have to grade 30-40 test per hour. They are given one and a half to two minutes to appraise and grade your two page 5 paragraph article.

MIT did a test. They wrote the best essay ever…. Highest score, .. .. Now read it. It makes no sense.

This, my friends and fellow countrymen, is what testing is doing to our educational system….

The profit return on testing is close to 85% … The costs are minimal, some paper, some ink, some graders, and you charge $100 per test.

And let’s not even get into the part where the tests are graded wrong, AND WHEN EXPOSED ARE NOT CORRECTED.

That is why it is being force fed. If you give a school a failing grade, they will buy more tests to test themselves out of their hole…..

Education is not about student achievement anymore.

When you are getting married, for the short term you can enjoy the sex, the presents, the booze, the going out, but for a marriage to work you really have to know the other person’s heart. If you err, it costs a big bundle, it financially sets you back a decade, and it affects your life forever…

As any great mom or dad will tell their progeny…. If you don’t want to go through with it, don’t. It is easier to call if off now, then it will be 10 years from now. Plus, all that time isn’t wasted finding your real love.

Alan Levin is looking for a suitor. His bride is the Port of Wilmington. The dowries match up, the agreements between families work ok, but how can he tell if his daughter will be happy with the arranged marriage? He needs to discern the heart of the suitor, find out what lurks within. Is it malice, or self sacrifice. Is it selfish? Or selfless?

Finally we have a glimpse…..

In February
2011, for example, the US Department of Labor sued Kinder Morgan, arguing that the
firm had been underpaying nearly 4,600 workers for overtime for at least two years.

The company contends that its incentive plan shouldn’t be considered part of an employee’s regular hourly pay because whether any bonuses are paid —as well as how much an employee might get — is at the discretion of management and the boards of directors,

The Labor Department, which filed the lawsuit February 2011 in federal court, alleges that the pipeline company did not include the bonuses it paid its employees when it calculated their overtime pay. Federal labor law requires companies to include bonuses when overtime pay is calculated,

The Labor Department brought the lawsuit after its investigation uncovered what it called “systemic violations” of federal overtime laws at 11 Kinder Morgan locations in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota and Texas. According to the Labor Department, Kinder Morgan improperly rounded work hours in the company’s favor and failed to pay employees at several locations who attended meetings before their shifts began.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 spells out how employers must calculate overtime pay. Many don’t realize they have to include bonuses that are related to meeting or exceeding production, efficiency or attendance goals, according to the Labor Department. Employers put the programs in place as an incentive for employees to work faster or more efficiently. Such bonuses — including quarterly and annual awards – must be included in total compensation and used to calculate the base hourly rate that determines the amount of an overtime premium such as time-and-a-half.

The company agreed to settle the suit, paying out $830,000 in back pay.

In business there are two kinds of people. Those that screw over their employees, and those that don’t. I’m sure over the course of your personal experience you will agree. What is particularly of interest here, it that this mistake could only be made in a non-union organization, and two, the rounding down systemically occurring across the nation, shows that directive comes from the top….

If one is pushing one’s employees to work harder and faster, and then cheating them on pay, one doesn’t have their best interests at heart.

So, we’ve glimpsed the heart. Since the deal over the port of Wilmington mysteriously revolves around the compensation of those current union employees who unload this and every week’s cargo, knowing how Kinder-Morgan will eventually view our employees behind their backs, should play a big part of the decision whether or not we want to allowed them into our family…….

Strong Powerful Rightous Religious Caring Compassionate What Is Not To Love
Courtesy of Party Pals

So why would the most popular Republican, the man everyone wanted to run back in 2012… the man hailed as the Great White Hope of the Republican Party, turn on them and bash his own party?

Easy.

Because his own party is wrong…

He can do more good for all of society by calling the Republicans out for what they truly are, finally, than he could by kissing fat cat’s ass and “toeing” the party line.

Chris Christie is just too big to fit in the Republican’s suit….

I hope he overwhelmingly wins in NJ because courage to call the Republicans the true dicks* they are, is rare. Voters need to reward him for a) being honest with them, and b) for putting his state’s interests over some stupid, made-up, constructed philosophy, that can’t seem to function in the real world….

Christie is right; his party is wrong. Get rid of the bad, keep the good.

*dicks as in Dick Cheney.

Insurance Rates Soar
Courtesy of FRED

This shows a problem and why blaming each other is a distraction being fanned by the core of the problem itself.

The personal part of insurance rates have gone up, and employees are yelling: what do you mean I have to pay more… I’m paying double already!

The corporations are telling their employees. We can’t afford to take up more of your insurance rates! We’re paying double already….

The big answer is why?

When George W. Bush ran for president, the following groups funded over 90% of his campaign.

Insurance Companies.

Medical Corporations and hospital chains

Energy Corporations.

We know what happened to energy during his two terms. We just learned what happened to medical and insurance that same time frame.

Obviously the extra money is going into the Medical Corporations provided insurance companies are cutting checks for an excessive number of claims over what it did in 2000, or into the insurance exec’s pockets, if they are not….

As a grand experiment, Delaware should allow anyone to buy into its Medicare option as an option for meeting the required claim to have Medical Insurance.

The graph simply shows why.

Put this much help on every teachers wish list

We all have a lot to do.

But, seriously, how can anyone prepare for tomorrows lesson, when they have this to do? No wonder our schools are failing”

From the Mind of Mike Matthews….

Donald Trump doesn’t even have this much to do. He has assistants. Administrators don’t have this much to do. They have assistants. Politicians don’t have this much to do. They have assistants. Not even Santa has this much work to do. He has assistants. But we are being told by all these that teachers don’t do their jobs….

Well, duh.

Accountable For Every Student's Progress

You asked for this. Please cut and paste at will.

Barack Obama
President of the United States.
White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr President:

There is something you need to know. I would be happy to tell you in person or get a group of educators to discuss the problems we are having with pursuing your education policy. It is a situation where communication is key.

I want to be clear. We have the same goals. It is just that the methods being prescribed are steering us away from those mutual goals, instead of towards them.

Honestly. This is a case of middle management gone awry. This is a case I feel, where the top and the bottom are on the same page, but those in the middle, are not to be trusted.

As member of a school board, one that is struggling to do it’s best to bring a district from behind, who has achieved progress in a way sort of like you have on the economy where we both started so late and so far behind, that we are being accosted as failures though if one actually took time to account for our progress, as well as yours, we’ve both done a pretty good job… I think for your legacy, you need to hear from us….

We are in Delaware’s Race to the Top. Those of us here and in Tennessee are having the same problem.

The specific problem, is that you and those in the top echelon are not getting the truth. You may actually think we are making progress. As the person most accountable, I think you would want to hear that perhaps the glowing reports you are getting, are not entirely true. This is something obviously which cannot be passed up through the chains of commands, because it involves them.

Truth in reporting is the issue. The truth is that what we are being fed, is not working at the interface where student meets teacher. In fact, the pressure all are being put under to fulfill these arbitrary deadlines, inane quotas, and poorly thought out trackers, actually is taking away from the time we spend with students. I repeat it is a negative influence on the results expected….

We originally approached this with an open mind. We wanted to reform our schools too. But, somewhere up the ladder, things went bad.

The prime issue is that we are being force to follow a system poorly designed. When we bring concerns to the table, they are dismissed and we are treated as inconsequential, and dismissed, accused of being the source of trouble. Instead, we were simply trying to establish an environment of mutual respect, where problems can be discussed and probed, and workable solutions can be found, and tested before implementation. It’s as if someone designed the cooks line of a restaurant and put all the necessary tools on the other end from where they were needed. It seems to make sense to talk to those who actually will be expected to provide results during the planning stages, instead of wondering to use the example above, why all the food always took so long… It can be prevented if we can be part of the planning process.

Our concern is our students.

We sincerely would like to discuss ideas that can keep the good parts of these programs moving forward, and utilize all the tools that we, as highly trained professionals, can apply to this worthy cause.

As every leader should know, the truth will not stay buried. It always surfaces, even if it is after the implosion has occurred, even if it is found by specialists sifting through the wreckage to find the cause. Simply put, we would like someone to listen to us on the bottom: the teachers, administrators, parents, students, and particularly a school board…..

It could positively affect the entire campaign.

Sincerely:

All of the below……

kavips.