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Sometimes one of the exercises one must go through in executive training is a workshop where one puts oneself in another’s shoes.  This exercise broadens the perspective of a budding young exec and gives them the rare view not often allowed, of seeing his own problems from his adversaries’ perspective…

Since one is too often, too deep in one’s own crises to think objectively, the formula is to take one’s own fears, correlate them in a fabricated  parallel situation,  and then role play….  The lesson is that things are often not as simple and clear cut as one naturally assumes, where one sees themselves as good, thereby making all against them,  evil…

So, with your indulgence….

May 1st, 2014….

A flash mob of armed farmers stormed the Capitol building in Harrisburg today and took control of the building.  The police officers were disarmed and allowed to leave.  Hostages are still inside.

May 2nd.

The police of Harrisburg have surround the capitol, but are dwarfed as crowds approaching a million have spontaneously  poured in from across Pennsylvania’s countryside in support of the demonstrators inside.  The police are taunted and are awaiting reinforcements.

Late afternoon riot police from Philadelphia, with heavy machinery, have arrived. They are expected to  storm the building at dawn.  The Governor of PA has now officially called this an illegal takeover and has stressed that the supporters give up and go home.

May 3rd.  At dawn the Philadelphia police storm the building and with guns blazing, meet fierce resistance. They pull back. The crowds have grown larger as Patriot Groups across the nation have sounded the alarm. Volunteers are pouring in from all over the United States.  The Tea Party is now calling for the overthrow of the entire government of PA  and the formulation of a new one, more closely aligned to the needs of the country music loving people of rural Pennsylvania….

May 4th.  The governor again calls the meeting illegal but the crowds are bigger than the police. It is a stalemate.

May 5th.  The federal government has negotiated an agreement between the governor and the demonstrators.  The demonstration will be dismissed, and the governor will listen to the needs of the Tea Party and the patriots.

Late afternoon, Sheriff Arapao  from Hokey, Dokey Arizona, has called for the elimination of the governor, to be replaced by a constitutional sheriff as head of an interim government.

May 6th.  Shots were fired into the crowd by unknown assailants. 100 demonstrators were killed. In the morning the crowd, angered, stormed the capitol to find it empty, doors and files all unlocked, and computer running.   No one has seen the governor or his officers.

May 7th.  Still no sign of the governor.  The head of the Harrisburg Patriot Group declared himself as head of the interim government.  and his followers to be the legislative body.  In rapid succession they passed several measures….  Taxes were abolished. Slavery of the Negro reinstated. Government welfare abolished.  English only could be spoken. No restrictions on buying or selling weaponry of any kind.  All questions of legality would be handled by the interim government.  And it was also deemed legal to kill any man, woman, or child,  for not going to what was considered a “true Christian” church on Sunday morning…

May 8th.  Rejoicing erupts spontaneously in the mountains and  countryside of  PA… South-eastern PA is in shock.  Particularly among the dominant Afro-American population, Hispanics, Asians and Muslims.   City leaders governing Philadelphia and surrounding counties,  say they will respect the interim government’s authority as being that of the state, and try to hold Pennsylvania together… “We are still one state” they say “and will work within the framework provided.”.. There is considerable angst among the blacks however…

May 9th.  The US  Navy pulls into the Philadelphia Shipyard, where hundreds of mothballed ships lie.   The US says it is simply protecting its assets.   Civic groups call for the US to send in additional troops to protect Philadelpians.  They say they would rather remain in the US than become part of this new Pennsylvania run by Tea Partiers gone amok.

Sheriff Arapao calls on the US not to interfere or intervene and says doing so will be seen as an act of aggression toward the patriots and the US will suffer dire consequences if they do.

The US responds that an Arizona Sheriff has no jurisdiction in Philadelphia.

May 11th.  Reports that multiple convoys of armored personal carriers have crossed the Walt Whitman and Ben Franklin bridges and have now entered Philadelphia.  Conveys were also reported seen along I 95 in Delaware and heading north upwards  through Chester, and also up from Maryland along Route 1….

May 12th… The US reports it is not acquiring Philadelphia, but is merely setting a perimeter to protect its new base in the shipyard.  Sheriff Arapao is calling on the complete removal of all troops except for the original ones originally located in the shipyard.  The US responds that given the violent antics of the Tea Party in Harrisburg, they simply don’t have the trust factor with this new regime to do so.

May 12th.  The ousted governor  of PA surfaces and holds a press conference in Washington DC and calls for the reinstatement of  his government,  calling the coup an illegal use of force and an action condoned by no laws or precedents.

Citizens in Philadelphia hold massive demonstrations along the Ben Franklin Parkway in support of a future US occupation.  Tea Partiers are holed up in their militia armories,  blockaded and surrounded by US forces.  There has been no bloodshed reported.

May 13th.  The interim government of Tea Partiers has called on the US to leave.  The US now has said it is there to stay….  Sheriff Arapao contends that the US is planning to take over all of Eastern PA.  The US says that should be decided by referendum,  the people have the right to choose with whom they wish to be governed.   Sheriff Arapao says that is unfair because everyone knows that in such a vote, most of urban PA would side with staying in the US and not elect to be under the rowdy independence of a sheriff and his posse….

May 14th.  Local Tea Party citizens not affiliated with the interim government descend upon the Mexican community of Hazelton and set fire to houses of Mexicans and burn their cars…

May 15th… African communities across the state of PA, and particularly in Pittsburgh, reported sightings of armed men in white robes and several crosses were burned in Three Rivers Point.  There were also reported incidents of bricks thrown through windows of minority businesses.

May 16th.  Breaking. The interim government just issued a proclamation on sheepskin that declares that no Afro-Americans, no low income, and no Mexicans will be hither allowed in public schools or public buildings. They use is only for white people.

The US immediately calls on them to change, staying those with colored skin that is darker than white, also have rights as well.  Sheriff Arapao says the posse do, what the posse do. That is what freedom is… sometimes.

May 17th.  The US puts 40,000 troops along the extended border of PA.  Is says it is for field training  Sheriff Arapao calls it provocative and sends out a call for patriots everywhere to matriculate into PA to fight the US imperialists.

May 18th.  Armed  personal waving US flags occupy the West Chester Courthouse this morning . There was no blood shed.  All participants appearing to be afro-Americans, were masked, well organized and said wore American flags on their logos.

The interim government called it an act of war, and from a hill top of Arizona, Sheriff Arapao called upon Americans to abandon their diets and all drink milkshakes, to apply pressure by shaming the ineffectiveness of Michelle Obama’s healthy diet plan.   The US laughed at that retaliation, but Sheriff Arapao claimed it would be highly effective  for it would piss off the real power inside the White House…

Meanwhile the interim Tea Party government said it was in a financial crisis.  It had no money to pay anyone, it was unable to maintain any governmental services.

May 19th —  Early this morning Delaware County courthouse was stormed by what they said were local separatists but all had the same markings as did those in West Chester.  The courthouse was quietly taken over, as well as the water plant and sewer.

In West Chester, members of the wealthy neighborhoods who tended to support the Tea Party’s call of no taxes, demonstrated in front of the occupied West Chester courthouse… They were soon outmatched, and overrun by counter demonstrations of relatively poorer African Americans who quickly took control of the street.

May 20th  Demonstrators took over the city building in Montgomery PA today.  Tea partiers with the help of the PA national guard surrounded the building and set fire to it, after boarding the doors to prevent escape.  48  pro US demonstrators died.

Sheriff Arapao blamed the deaths on the US, saying they were creating the demonstrations and thus forced these 48 to die.  The US countered saying most Afro Americans are very concerned that the official potion of the Pennsylvania  government is to have them enslaved, and has already banned them from public schools and public buildings, and in this case who were basically doing what was done by the Tea Party originally at the capitol building in Harrisburg.

Sheriff Arapao called the US a liar and called upon all Americans to punish the US by not eating broccoli this time… (Take that Michelle)….

Meanwhile the neighboring states of New York, Ohio, and New Jersey have been working on a deal with the Tea Partiers and the US government.   It would involve PA’s borders remaining intact, but give autonomy over each region to that regions’ inhabitants, based on their choices in that election.  It would give US control over Philadelphia.

The Tea Party says no deal on elections or future government will be made until the US is completely removed from their territory.  The US replies that they will stay until the Tea Party can show they are responsible citizens, willing to let others have rights too.

May 21– The Tea Party with the help of their patriot Vietnam vets flying confiscated national guard helicopters,  attacked the strongholds in eastern PA taking over all.  8 people died in the gun battles, several innocent bystanders hit by stray fire.  The total dead is over 50.  The separatists loyal to the US, quickly retake the buildings after the air power has left.

May 22 — Sheriff Arapao and the interim government call upon the US to move its troops back from the border.  The US replies it has, but Sheriff Arapao says his patriots tell him it is not so….

=====

And that is where Ukraine as seen by Russia is today… It is ironic and sad that due to normal human nature, simply because we Americans been told that Putin is “bad” by people (Sarah Palin) who we don’t really know well, or don’t know if we can trust even at all (Fox News) , how quickly it taints us to jump to that very conclusion, with no supporting facts… Anyone who states an cautionary opinion otherwise, quickly gets pooh-poo’d by the tiny little minds here in the US..

But when roles are reversed, Putin’s own account seems very plausible.  As we go forward, we must ask ourselves why the US today in our real world is now playing the role of Sheriff Arapao in the pretend one above…  Is it because there are many moles of Sheriff Arapao replicated and buried within our real government, today?  People who perhaps, don’t really care about being right or wrong, … but just want a war they’ve been planning in such detail all these years… to finally happen?

 

Did you ever notice how a fight starts on a elementary school playground? A stare down, and obviously neither wants to do it. but neither wants to hear the taunts of “chicken” either…  It starts with one bystander… “Fight, fight, fight, fight,” and gets picked up by his accomplice, “fight, fight, fight, fight,”,,, and then his toady joins in… “fight, fight, fight, fight,” and then innocent bystanders flocking to the sudden outburst, who really have nothing to win or lose but just want some relief from their boredom, find themselves captured and joining in… “fight, fight, fight, fight,,,”…

Maybe they will fight; maybe they won’t… but usually when they don’t…. it is only because an adult stepped into the fight zone and took control…..

The real problem today, is those yelling “fight, fight, fight, fight” inside our nation’s beltway….  They will always be there too.  Whether to push Kennedy into the Bay of Pigs, or the US and NATO into a war with Russia.

For them, it is all the same.

 

 

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Turtle Eyes

 

This kind…

Doesn’t he have an election coming up soon?  If so, how can anyone expect to make a credible run for Attorney General IN THIS STATE, AFTER BEAU BIDEN’S TERM,  and be guilty of keeping a tiny little bill, which has no harm but opens all board meetings to being recorded and accessible on line?

Only Simon Barsinister could be against something so inane… Or…. Hmmmmm…. Somebody … With… Something…. To …. Hide….

Three lines of simple code: All boards of education of public school districts, vocational-technical high school districts, and all boards of directors of charter schools shall digitally record all of their public meetings and shall make the recordings available to the public on the districts’ or charter schools’ websites within seven (7) business days of each meeting.  These recordings are not official board minutes, but are a means to enhance communication to the public and to State legislators.…….

Hmmm.  Now… Why would the surprise future attorney general, be sooooo adamant, even to the point of losing an election over blocking legislation so inane, that all it does is open school boards of all things, open to the public as a service… Anyone can walk into a school board and hear exactly the same thing they’d hear on tape… But sometimes… a diaper needs changed.  But sometimes, a family meal needs prepared.   Sometimes extra work for the office must be done for deadline the next day…. Darn we say now….I guess we won’t get to know what happened…

So why?  Why is HB 23 being put on ice as my compatriot Kilroy is found of saying.  Who is soooooo scared someone will find out what is really going on in school board meetings?  Is it Charlie Copeland?   Is it Mark Murphy?  Is it… Darryl Scott?   Is it Pete Schwartzkoph?

Hmmm.  I wonder if it has any sponsors in the General Assembly right now?

HOLY MOLY!!!!!!  LOOK AT THIS!!!   Sponsors:  Hudson, Sen. Peterson, Reps. Dukes, D. Short, Miro, Peterman, Wilson, Baumbach, Bennett, Mitchell, K. Williams; Sens. Hocker, Lavelle, Simpson, Townsend….

Is Pete Schwartzkoph there?….. No…… Is Bryon Short there?  ….. No……  Is Melanie George Smith there?….. No……  Is Valarie Longhurst there?……. No…… Is Darryl Scott there?  … No….Is Earl Jacques there?…… No  Is Patty Blevins there? …… No……  Is Quentin Johnson there? …. No….   is John Viola there?…… No….  Is Ernie Lopez there?….. No?

Hmmmmmm…   What do those all have in common…… 🙂   Hmmmmmmmmmmmm….  Do they all drink their coconut milk imbibed with lime?  …. No…..   Do they all call each other up and wear the same color of underwear each daily session?…… No……  Ummm.   Do they all have the same Delaware extension tatoo’d to their buttocks?….. Ummmm…..M a y… b e…….

It is someone with a lot to hide; that is for sure…  And it is nobody from here:

Red Clay, Christina, Capital, Delmar, Brandywine and Colonial currently already voluntarily record their board meetings! As well as the Delaware State Board of Education records their meetings!

So why is this something that has to be kept secret, and never brought to pass?….. Because we are not talking about individuals  VOTING on a bill…They could vote YEA or NEA and it wouldn’t matter!  What concerns us and you, is the pure morality of  KEEPING A BILL FROM BEING VOTED FOR YOU BECAUSE IT WILL PASS….

So according to its sponsor, Deborah Hudson,  Matt Denn is sitting on this bill….  He is doing it to protect someone else, to whom perhaps he is loyal….  How seriously then, were a procedural crime to be committed requiring a judicial investigation, can he be trusted to dig and search for the truth instead of whitewashing the whole affair to protect this same someone, when he can’t even be trusted to get a vote for heaven’s sakes….on  a voice recording of  school board meetings,  out on to the floor for a vote?   Let that sink in for a second….  Really?

Put all else aside…..  Really?

IS that really the kind of attorney general we want after Beau Biden….  a crony?

Really?  He’s going to throw his whole career away …. on that?

Really?  Why would he do that?   But it is definite a campaign issue, like blocking the GW bridge, one that resonates and will stick, because EVERY parent has a child in school….Whether they would ever listen themselves or not, this concerns them now… They too will question:  why is Matt Denn, who is running for Attorney General, trying so hard to keep information regarding my kid and his friends, from ever being made public??? Hmmmmm….

Seriously, this blemishes his entire pro-family  image he developed while serving as our insurance commissioner.  This makes him one of the snakes…..  with those evil eyes…..

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…. 

It depends on how much you make.

Bloomberg just published the top income estimates for 2013.  It is 1928 all over again….

“the top 300 seeing their collective net worth rise by US$ 524 billion to US $3.7 trillion as 2013 ended,”

Were we to raise taxes on just that increased amount by only 1%…. we’d could cut our deficit by $5 billion dollars.  Five billion dollars on the other hand, would pay for 16.7 million weeks of $300 Federal unemployment payments.   1,260,400 are currently waiting on Congress to pass an extension.

Twelve weeks of all their benefits could be covered by a 1% increase of taxes just on 300 people…. How badly will this hurt them?  Well, it would be as if you were selling lemonade on the corner for $1 a glass, and some kid only had 99 cents.  Sure, you’ll sell it… Point is that $5 billion dollars equals only one penny to these guys…

So why not take 2 pennies?  Really?  No one pays $1 anymore.  Everyone pays 99 cents and discount stores start at 98 cents…

Two pennies would fund unemployment for 24 weeks… Will you take 97 cents for a glass of lemonade?  Gee, 36 weeks, Done.  Covered…  How about 96 cents for an ice cool cup of sweetened Lemonade?  Let see, it’s cost is only 16 cents per cup, so.. why not?   Done!  48 out of a year’s 52 weeks, covered.  Accomplished!  Just like that…

And with no bump to deficit either… 

===

You are smart enough to figure what to do next.

 

Social Security despite its dislike by the wealthy class, finally became law.  It now appears Obamacare has passed it’s last and final trial by fire and will soon take it’s place next to Social Security as a basic American right….  it is so funny that it was invented by Romney, isn’t it?  I wonder how soon until he starts taking credit for the idea.

There are 8 working days left in the House of Representatives…  Although 47 bills repealing Obamacare have already passed the house, none have been put on the floor ever since the October 1st government shutd0wn…

The only bill exiting the House, was the one to delay it for only a year on the pretense of fixing the computer errors.  It turned into a giant misfire for the Republicans….

The head of the Republican leadership, is beginning to see it is impossible now to derail Obamacare….   It is one thing to get rid of a potential bugaboo which no one has any idea of what it does…  It is a totally different thing to take away 2 million American’s insurance plans, and leave them stranded with no insurance.  Acts like that play poorly during election time, and an election is only 11 months away.

The House ends the year in 8 working days.  When they return after New Year’s, all those insurance plans for which they shut down the government to prevent….  will be in effect…

So the fight is done,…over,….. finished,….. caput.   The Republicans will still keep close tabs on Obamacare, looking for any stories that discredit it, then trumpeting those ad nauseum…  But their aim in doing so is not to remove Obamacare.  At this point, they are solely looking to fan any flame possible in order to drive their voters to the polls next November….

As for Obamacare, it appears the fix is in.

 

 

 

Why yes, it just did.

The models on which teachers evaluations are tied, are pure junk.

From New York State’s own technical report….

Despite the model conditioning on prior year test scores, schools and teachers with students who had higher prior year test scores, on average, had higher MGPs. Teachers of classes with higher percentages of economically disadvantaged students had lower MGPs.

In other words, it doesn’t matter who the teacher is. What matters is the class. If you are teaching affluent students, you are rated highly; if you are in an economic disadvantaged school, you are rated poorly.

Therefore firing all teachers with low scores, means you constantly replace new teachers into bad schools, keeping even bad teachers in good schools. Therefore the process is flawed.

The problem is this glaring data, gets whitewashed by administrators pursuing their war on teachers.

As per New York’s now famous John King: “The model selected to estimate growth scores for New York State provides a fair and accurate method for estimating individual teacher and principal effectiveness based on specific regulatory requirements for a “growth model” in the 2011-2012 school year.”

“Concerned about what they were seeing, Lower Hudson Valley superintendents commissioned an outside analysis of data on their teachers and schools provided by the state. Here is a recent Lower Hudson Valley news summary of the findings of that report:

But the study found that New York did not adequately weigh factors like poverty when measuring students’ progress.

“We find it more common for teachers of higher-achieving students to be classified as ‘Effective’ than other teachers,” the study said. “Similarly, teachers with a greater number of students in poverty tend to be classified as ‘Ineffective’ or ‘Developing’ more frequently than other teachers.”

Andrew Rice, a researcher who worked on the study, said New York was dealing with common challenges that arise when trying to measure teacher impact amid political pressures.

Our most effective teachers are at schools that already have high proficiency rates….

What this means in plain language, is that when a teacher gets called in to go over the results of her evaluation, after you strip all the bull from the argument, it goes like this….

You are unacceptable because you taught in a high poverty school. Or, you are one of our best teachers, because you taught children who’s parents were rich….

The DSEA needs to fight this concept a lot harder this year. As a system, is it extremely flawed.

We are concerned that we have spent countless hours and millions and millions of dollars to produce results that are not comparable across the state and do not inform teacher practice or student learning.

Recently the DOE just handed out some awards…

State announces almost $1.5 million in district, charter grants for innovative improvement projects.. August 20, 2013

Let us break them down, shall we?

“Gallaher Elementary School(Christina School District): $116,029 for GOALS (Gallaher’s Outstanding Approach to Learning and Student-Improvement) Program, which will target the necessary prerequisite skills in reading and mathematics to allow all students to have equitable access to the skills needed to master the Common Core State Standards. For example, in reading those skills include decoding, fluency and basic comprehension.”   WHICH AMOUNTS TO $239 PER STUDENT. (Gallaher  had 486 students)

 “POLYTECH High School (POLYTECH School District): $143,000 for Specific & Innovative Improvement Practices at POLYTECH High School, including instructional interventions, professional development and social-emotional supports. Specifically, the grant will fund: SpringBoard Enrichment Period curriculum training and materials; Lexile appropriate and Common Core State Standards-aligned trade books; Common Core State Standards teacher resources, professional development and site visits; Career and Technical Education programming development; and interactive technology.”  WHICH AMOUNTS TO $120 PER STUDENT. (PolyTech  had and enrollment of 1183)

“North Laurel Elementary and Laurel Intermediate schools(Laurel School District): $149,974 for i-Impact, which will provide student-specific skill instruction, reinforcement and remediation to all students in grades 2 to 6 via technology (iPods and iPads) in in school and at home. About 1,050 students will benefit.” AMOUNTS TO $142 PER STUDENT 

“BRINC(Brandywine, Indian River, New Castle County Vo-Tech and Colonial school districts): $600,000 for Linking to the Future (like Dr Who?), supporting personalized learning opportunities for students at Brandywine’s Brandywine, Concord and Mt. Pleasant high schools; Colonial’s William Penn High School; New Castle County Vo-Tech’s Delcastle, Hodgson, Howard and St. Georges high schools; and Indian River’s Indian River and Sussex Central high schools. BRINC envisions that students will be able to compare data about their progress against their learning goals, be exposed to new blended learning strategies for anywhere, anytime learning and have more options for non-traditional learning, such as online courses.”  THAT AMOUNTS TO   $50  PER STUDENT (BRINC  had 11,810 High School Students)

Brandywine, Concord and Mount Pleasant high schools (Brandywine School District): $26,500 for Increasing Student College and Career Readiness in the Courses of Biology and AP Biology, funding texts and professional development for teachers and classroom materials for students to offer students a true inquiry approach in their biology instruction.”  THAT AMOUNTS TO  $32 PER STUDENT ( Those  had 815 tenth graders)

“Chipman Middle School(Lake Forest School District): $17,714 for Engaging Students in History through Common Core, a classroom project that will provide students with opportunities to read and analyze primary and secondary source materials to engage them in the study of U.S. history through the eyes of the people who actually lived it and witnessed it.” THAT AMOUNTS TO $18 PER STUDENT (There  are 979 students across the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades )

“Stanton Middle School (Red Clay Consolidated School District): $45,083 for Implementing a Trauma-Informed System of Care for Stanton Middle School, aiming to improve school culture and social competence of students by training teachers in The Heart of Learning and Teaching: Compassion, Resiliency, and Academic Success framework and coaching in the collaborative problem solving process. The grant also will fund universal screening for behavioral deficits and targeted intervention planning for all students. THAT AMOUNTS TO $65  PER STUDENT (There  are 690  student at Stanton Middle School). 
·

A.I. duPont middle and high schools(Red Clay Consolidated School District): $39,000 for A.I. duPont Astronomy Cooperative Initiative, creating a cooperative high school/middle school partnership to allow rising 7th and 8th graders the middle school to work with students at the high school to create public presentations focused on Earth resources and astronomy. They will utilize the planetarium at the middle school and observatory on the roof of the high school, which will receive a new dome.   THAT AMOUNTS TO $23  PER STUDENT (There  are 1641 students in both Ai duPont Schools)·

Warner Elementary School (Red Clay Consolidated School District): $24,099 for WIZ (Warner Inspiration Zone), expanding the school’s fourth and fifth grade club period to second and third grades. Last year’s clubs focused on topics such as math, LEGO Robotics, Science Olympiad, poetry, Spanish and agriculture.  THAT AMOUNT TO $70  PER STUDENT (There  are 343 students in 2-5th grades)
 

Brittingham and Shields elementary schools (Cape Henlopen School District): $48,012 for Bridging the Gaps through Blended Learning, creating a district consortium to help close a socio-economic divide in the district. Focusing on fifth grade, the project will support teacher collaboration and training. Students will use digital media and blended learning. THAT AMOUNTS TO $39  PER STUDENT (There  are 1217 students in those two schools)

A.I. duPont, Dickinson, McKean, Conrad, Cab Calloway, Delaware Military Academy and Wilmington Charter high schools (Red Clay Consolidated School District): $70,500 for 11th grade SAT Prep Evening Program, offering free SAT prep classes to all juniors in the district over a 10-week period beginning in January and concluding before the state SAT administration in April. Transportation and materials will be provided. The program will run in five locations on different nights so students have a choice. THAT AMOUNTS TO  $57 PER STUDENT (There are 1235 11th graders in those  schools.) 

H.B. duPont Middle School (Red Clay Consolidated School District): $32,710 for CELEB (Cognitive and Emotional Learning and Esteem Building) Program, authored by Wilmington Pastor Derrick Johnson. The goals of the program are to reduce bullying, improve academic performance and decrease suspension rates. The grant will fund two five-week programs, one in the fall/winter and one in the winter/spring for students who are cultural minorities, free and reduced lunch-eligible and Wilmington city residents. THAT AMOUNTS TO $39  PER STUDENT (There are 826  students  at that school)
·

All Red Clay elementary and middle schools (Red Clay Consolidated School District): $122,600 for 4th to 6th Grade Partnership Institute, which will expand and deepen educator content knowledge related to the Common Core State Standards, creating vertical teams spanning fourth to sixth grades and incorporating educators from all 23 elementary and middle schools.  THAT AMOUNTS TO $31  PER STUDENT (There are 3935  4th,5th, and 6th Grade students in Red Clay)
·

Gateway Charter School(charter): $50,922 for Expansion of Reading Workshop Model, which targets special education students among others for the reading program. It incorporates the use of technology to enhance the child’s reading experience. Teacher training, parental involvement and other family literacy learning supplements the program.THAT AMOUNTS TO $404  PER STUDENT (There  are 126 Special Education  students at Gateway Charter).

As an aside here is how it broke down by district.

$116,029 Christina
$143,000 Polytech
$149,974 Laurel
$600,000 BRINC
$26,500 Brandywine
$17,714 Lake Forest
$333,992 Red Clay
$48,012 Cape Henlopen
$50,922 Charter Schools

$1,496,213 ($3787 shy of the 1.5 million touted.)

One sees that being good in grant writing does help acquire money. Hats off to Red Clay grant writers! The number one point of grant writing is to know what your audience thinks is important, not necessarily what IS important. Grant writing is the art of coaxing money out of someone else. In this case when you have the arbiter of grants as a gym teacher who as some have suggested was escalated into a position over his head, you could guess that he would naturally appeal to pretension and high sounding grandeur.

Read this out loud… “ for Implementing a Trauma-Informed System of Care for Stanton Middle School, aiming to improve school culture and social competence of students by training teachers in The Heart of Learning and Teaching: Compassion, Resiliency, and Academic Success framework and coaching in the collaborative problem solving process. “

Can anyone REALLY explain what that means? … In real English, we call that throwing random key words together, and using haughtiness and pretension to hold them together….

One may also note the higher intensity of money going to the charter schools, but in this case it may be warranted because is all goes towards special ed children.

So the overall theme as presented by the Department of Education and trumpeted by the News Journal, is simply put:  “woo-hoo, we’re giving out money, Yippie”.   And that would be a good story if that was all of the story.  But alas, if that was all of the story, I probably wouldn’t be writing this.  There is the darker, other side… of the story.

$1.5 million out of the Department of Educations total $680,511,685 budget, the money being celebrated is 0.22 of 1% (22 cents out of every hundred dollars)… Of course the Department of Education is huge and covers a large area, such as salaries, facilities, food, and transportation.  Most of those are set-costs.  But what if we ruled out all the schools, and just focused on what the office, that little room in Dover, spends upon itself… Out of the above amount,…  the part NOT earmarked for any school but for the administration of the Office of the Department of Education, $96,364,069… the celebrated amount still only becomes 1.5%..(or a $1.50 out of every $100 spent dollars).

So…. by now you should be wondering at least slightly, how a little office in Dover can spend the remainder of $94,864,069. So did I. Rest assured, a lot of it is for food; public schools do feed a lot of students. Equipment, computers, legal fees bite up some more… But as with any budget, there are always the curious things. The little things that make you kind of wonder. Things that don’t seem like they belong… Well, here are some of those I found. (Since I had no clue what many of them were, I googled them and put explanations of what I found alongside each one. Sorry for such detail)… 😦

You too should follow along. Open this link in another tab… Drop down and Click on Department of Education. Drop down alphabetically past the schools A-C till you come again to Department of Education. Click the blue “view all” to the left of it on that line. And wait for the page to open. When it opens you will see a list of every charge paid to the Department of Education this past fiscal period, starting with symbols, numbers, and then progressing alphabetically.  I recommend it;  its a sobering life-experience you really don’t want to pass over.

For those who like fine tooth comb-overs, this isn’t one. I just hit the big things.  There will be a lot which I won’t expose.  Others can pursue them if so inclined.

$3,935,052 to Wireless Generation 7/12 to 5 /13  The Delaware Department of Education partnered with Wireless Generation to implement the state’s data coaching program, originally funded with $8.2 million in federal Race to the Top grant dollars. Data coaches meet with small cohorts of teachers at least two times per month to review data regarding those teachers’ student data. Their goal is to help teachers identify areas of deficiency and progress, and offer suggestions for teachers to address student needs as identified by the data. All educators in core subjects will meet in small, relevant groups of about six to 10 educators for 90 minutes weekly in a minimum of 45-minute blocks and will be joined by data coaches two times a month. (psst. During this time, who is teaching our kids!) Wireless Generation is also maintaining the data base which will hold and keep all student scores as a permanent mark against their future livelihood and future. Parents should be advised that this company is owned 90% by Murdoch, who was complicit in the hacking of a missing girls phone to get the scoop, then deleting comments when they became full, giving the world hope that she was still alive. Your child’s information will be safe with him, for sure.

$1,355,706 to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt This is only a part of the entire state budget going to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The total Delaware paid them was $2,229,229.12 which covers those items charged to the schools. Delaware’s million dollar contracts with “Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Leadership and Learning Center”, lasted for 30 months, covering three full-time coaches who worked with five principals each year while two part-time coaches together supported five more. The coaches were required to spend about 30 hours a month in the buildings. “The center’s cadre of certified professional development associates and school leadership coaches are poised to work shoulder to shoulder with principals from across the state to prepare them to complete a deep and effective implementation of Race to The Top initiatives,” said David West, senior vice president of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Educational Consulting Services.”

$8,135,481 American Institutes for Research (AIR) This is a think tank organization headquartered on lobby row in Washington DC, “that conducts behavioral and social science research on important social issues and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. “- AIR makes tests. Online and paper tests. It brags it develops them scientifically, but many teachers and students who took the DCAS they make, would argue otherwise. The 5 year contract they received in 2009 will end at the end of this school year. Two of this firm’s featured clients are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Chicago School System

$1,100,272 to Visions of Delaware This is the same Vision 2015 that a few months ago warped into Vision 2020 when it’s objectives set in 2006 were deemed to be falling way short. Their primary cause of failure came mostly from of a lack of state funding which got cut by the power that was, instead of getting enlarged as they had originally suggested. That recommendation of more state money is no longer set in their new goals, (they kind of dropped that by the wayside on the down-low)…. This is the same organization that paid a consultant $30,000 to redo the Christina Districts logo “because it would be good for children to have a “more inspired” logo, and he replaced the River (For the Christiana River) with a “sunburst”. It lasted 2 months before being trashed. Competence in its highest degree.

$400,000 to Teach for America Teach of America is a Federally Recognized Substitute Teacher’s Program. Although that was not its ideal at conception, that is essentially what it has become. If one can’t get enough teachers to sign up in one’s district, because one had to fire them over a standardized test, one can use “Teach of America” to staff those schools in which no one else would venture into. That’s the rough description. Teach for America takes non education majors who’ve recently graduated, runs them through 20 days summer training, then throws them into the worst schools in America. Their guiding philosophy was that since regular teachers were so dumb, smart people could teach as well with no training. Unfortunately reality was different. Now they are more successful, because they have copied all the practices that work well in public schools whose fired teachers they were hired to replace.

$329,982.53 Research in Action This is a two man shady (no info on the web) consulting firm out of Baton Rouge LA, that was contracted by the Delaware Department of Education to in conjunction with AIR (above) to get the DCAS to meet the requirements of the USDOE Standards and Assessment Peer Review of the DCAS. These people were responsible for the “holding teachers accountable” or the Component 5 part of the DCAS. The consultant was present at Day One of the May 2011 Sheraton meeting that devised the DCAS, but not at day two. J.K Beaudoin historically is the person credited who in 2002 first suggested to the national NCLB  board that by making the first cut at a escalated value, one could then respond to those not making AYP with an offer to take “a second look.” This concept would help state legislators get past the fear of misidentifying the teaching level of a certain school.. For example if a level of 60 is really passing, you fail at 70, then interview each of those between to pass them provided they were operating sufficiently upon seeing them in action…

$230,625 Education First consulting This firm’s consultants are themselves leaders in education reform. Based out of Seattle their clients include Achieve, American Federation of Teachers, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Grantmakers for Education, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Seattle Public Schools, Tennessee Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee, Texas High School Project, and state education advocacy organizations including Illinois’ Advance Illinois, Ohio’s Business Alliance for Higher Education and the Economy, Oregon’s Chalkboard Project and Washington STEM.

$130,639.05 to Teaching strategies LLC.. In Delaware, Teaching Strategies GOLD® has been customized as part of the Delaware Early Learner Survey (DE-ELS) which covers from birth thru kindergarten.. “First, it provides real-world examples of how children might demonstrate what they know and can do, which makes it easy for teachers to assign child ratings. Second, it has easily customized reports for teachers and administrators, as well as intuitive web navigation. Finally, and most importantly, the tool is directly aligned to the Common Core State Standards, which will help teachers learn the standards and use them appropriately.”

$99,750 to Progress Education Corp Progress Education was selected by the Delaware State Department of Education to serve as an objective third party evaluator to determine the efficacy of the DPAS II Pilot program in achieving both of its core purposes: quality assurance and professional growth. Over the course of this 2 year project, Progress Education Corporation was to develop and administer surveys, conduct interviews, and facilitate focus groups. The data collected via these three channels during the evaluation of the pilot will be used to test the proposed criteria, process, and forms for evaluating teachers, specialists, and administrators

$87,100 Anne Mitchell This was once the author of Financing Child Care In the United States; An Expanded Catalog of Current Strategies (2001). Also author in 1989 of Early Childhood Education and the Public Schools. In 2005 with the United Way of Delaware, she published “Stair Steps to Quality: A Guide for States and Communities Developing Quality Rating Systems for Early Care and Education” Her expertise is in the use of Quality Rating Systems used to rate Pre-K childcare and their impact on education.

$74,950 to Julia Stone/Harper Collins Publishers   Julie Stone is the daughter in law of a retired business director of Dupont.  Formerly she was the director of business development at Kaplan Learning Services of New York. Under the guise of Stone Consulting she was the final arbiter of Dan Rich’s “Early Childhood Development Plan”, and mitigated the alignment of early educational goals to those of Common Core in the Early Grades. She received partial credit for assisting in the publishing of this document.

$67,500 to US education Delivery Inst The U.S. Education Delivery Institute (EDI) is an innovative non-profit organization that focuses on implementing large-scale system change in public education. Their mission is to partner with K-12 and higher education systems with ambitious reform agendas and invest in their leaders’ capacity to deliver results. By employing an approach known as delivery, a proven methodology for effective implementation in the public sector, we help state leaders maintain the necessary focus to plan and drive reform. EDI provides intensive on-the-ground support, data analytics, ongoing professional development, and a network through which state systems can collectively build their capacity. They were originally tapped by Lowery in 2010, and their work can be seen here…

$64,312 to Grant Communications Consulting This is an award-winning publishing, public-relations and issues-management company. They are in charge of developing and implementing communications strategies designed to convey their clients’ message, whatever it may be, good, bad, or ugly. They do this through a variety of collateral materials, ranging from press releases, slanted opinion pieces in local newsprint, all the way to high-end marketing pieces. These professionals are ready to help you enhance your image and to raise your visibility, and if needed, bury truth where it will never be found.

$52,221 Caveon LLC Caveon, LLC operates as a security technology and consulting company. It offers detection services, such as security audits review services, which include security measures against industry-endorsed security standards to determine if a breach has occurred and to identify potential security problems. This company was hired to follow up on leaks. (Apparently knowing that their educational reform might not be well received by the public). Their prime duty is to patrol the web to identify unauthorized disclosures, as well as possible disclosers of sensitive test information.

$44,948 to Colyar Consulting Group Colyar Consulting Group is the leader in Child Nutrition and Food Distribution Management Software.. This company (CCG) has unequaled experience in the development of software products tailored to assist states in the management of federally funded Child Nutrition and Food Distribution Programs…

$42,450 to Positive Training LLC. No info found. Should be the first place Tom Wagner looks.

$39,000 to Christine Stoops No info found. Should be the second place Tom Wagner looks.

$37,878 to Gannet for advertising Now you can see the ulterior motive the News Journal squelches any anti-Common Core writing from appearing in its pages. This is just the amount for the office in Dover, of the Secretary of Education. The entire state government spends $436,821.33….

$34.000 Educational Research and Training Corporation Educational Research & Training Corporation is a business providing services in the field of Educational Consultants. Educational Research & Training Corporation is located in Greeley, CO.

$26,500 Andrew Geroski Specializing in advertising, brand identity and content development, his company, Left Hand provides “support on the creative side” for clients large and small, local and national, corporate and institutional. Recent project clients include Comcast Sportsnet, Herr’s Potato Chips, Longwood Gardens, World Café Live and the Philadelphia Zoo.

$23,000 to Evergreen Evaluation and Consulting EEC is a woman-owned firm located in Jericho, VT, founded in 1990 by Dr. Patricia Mueller. It’s role is to develop evaluation strategies and methodologies designed to provide formative and summative feedback.

$18,900 to Donna Marie King (consulting) Accomplished, versatile branding, communications, marketing and public relations professional dedicated to conceptualizing and implementing programs and campaigns that deliver results. Consummate professional experienced in traditional, non-traditional and emerging marketing strategies and tactics

$18,400 Amanda Seewald Author and Director, MARACAS Spanish Programs. focuses on developing strategies and new pathways to immersion and content based language learning to engage kids and prepare them for the global stage of the 21st century.

$18,112 to Goeins-Williams Assoc. Williams holds a doctorate in Urban Affairs & Public Policy, University of Delaware with a specialization in social policy, program planning, and analysis and an is an experienced assistant professor of Organizational Development and Leadership at the University of Delaware’s School of Urban Affairs.. Since 1986 GWA has helped over 40,000 individuals in corporate, government and non-profit organizations improve their performance and achieve their organizational goals.

$17,999 to Delaware Bullying Prevention The Delaware Bullying Prevention Association’s mission is to reduce and to eliminate occurrences of bullying among Delaware’s children and adolescents in and out of the school setting through prevention and intervention methods and education programs.

$17,077.50 to Janet Umble of DECEL In December 2010, Janet Umble shared a memo from the Delaware Coalition for Early Learning with the ECC. It said DECEL was pleased with the level of alignment between the goals of the ECC and those of the DECEL. DECEL strives to represent the child care provider community’s interests.

$15,000 to Judy Schrag Co-Principal at Education and Human Services Group. Former Director of the Office of Special Education Programs Dr. Schrag is a Senior Policy Analyst for the National Association of State directors of Special Education. In addition, she is a skilled researcher, policy maker, trainer, and educator working as a national educational consultant and co-principal of Education and Human Services Group. In this role, she works with a number of states and local education agencies and organizations, including CADRE. Dr. Schrag has also been a special and general education teacher and local director of special education.

$452.82 to James Dick; yes… they…. did….

I tried to show you how the DOE works. On one hand, they make a big deal over giving $1.5 million out in special grants to schools. If you were paying close attention, almost all of them were designed around implementing Common Core. There was no money made to grow children; as in field trips, enriching presentations, or hiring new staff or teachers. There is no money to mitigate the other duties teachers have, thereby freeing themselves to spend more time teaching. In many districts, these budgets have been cut.

All this extra money was to help with Common Core, a huge business proposition. But instead of helping,it gets made into a great corporate give-away, even though this money is being spent on something that a) has not been proven to work, and b) has been shown to give irreparable damage to children inflicted with it..

Yet, $16,417,306 gets spent on consultants. Why is no money being spent on kids in class?

The modus operandi seems to be to cut expenses as much as possible towards the class room, and give that cut to ones friends of Wall Street for stopping by. To my recollection, we’ve never had any administration so involved with paying off this many people before. And as documented here and elsewhere, what those consultants are proposing, doesn’t work in the real world…

What it boils down to, is it is your money,.. and your kids. Do you think this is the best use of your dollars? Or do you think that $16 million should have been granted as well as the $1.5 million, to things that would broaden childrens experiences, … instead of narrowing them down to one test, as Common Core does…..

it’s your money. It’s your kids. It’s your choice. But you can’t sit on your butts and do nothing. Otherwise this continues forward with no counter force to slow it down…


Close up Courtesy of gene hanson

Allan and I were commenting on his WDEL blog, that Monarchs were in very short supply this year. I had seen none. Neither has he.

It brought to mind that great losses were expected this year because a census in the mountains of Central Mexico recorded millions were missing from their winter home. Since colonies like to fly together and land together, I was hoping our Monarchs were not privy to that catastrophe.

I am now worried I was right. Monarchs have always played an important part of rural people’s psyche. Seeing a Monarch, since it is so recognizable, gives one an uplift to the spirit, invariably followed by an excited voice saying, “look it’s a Monarch!”… Former President Jimmy Carter, a farmer by trade, commented on this special feeling one gets, by saying the Monarch united three nations in peace. How true.

Monarchs are personal to me. I was fortunate to have lived on two different flyways, in two different states, and well remember lining up carseats of children on the back porch to watch the parade of Monarchs steadily bob their way south. As elementary children, our very kind and thoughtful principal would break all classes to let us out onto the playground to stand in awe and silence, and watch hundreds of the King of Insects go bobbing by. They never wavered side to side; they never stopped; just kept flying one right after another.

Why are they missing? Well that is up to speculation. For you see, they being Monarchs, are mysterious, secretive. We just simply don’t know? Speculation ranges from loss of milkweed due to new development; insecticides on farm land. As a side example it was just found this year, that a new fungicide has wiped out millions and millions of honeybees. But Monarchs were so secretive, it took almost all the formative years of Allan’s lifetime before we even discovered where the Eastern Monarch rested during winter. Once discovered, it was breaking news on NBC. We now know a migration takes multiple generations coming north, and one super-generation going south, and it is through genetic code, that they pass the knowledge of exactly which field where home is. Amazing.

Anytime one hears something like this one assumes the worse, such as when one gets a message while at work that one’s spouse was ambulanced to the emergency room. “Will I see them again” is the first thought one wonders! So it is with this revelation, and probably the reaction is premature but being human nature, I will certainly wonder until confirmation comes in otherwise, if the Eastern species died out, at least the local tribe, and whether or not we will see these mysterious creatures ever again!

We are very fortunate to have Allan Loudell as our state’s prime newscaster, because of his interest in this topic, tomorrow at 12:18 (or closely approximate) he will be interviewing the prime expert in the world on Monarch butterfly migration.Dr. Lincoln Brower at Sweet Briar College in Virginia.

If you have ever said… “oh there’s a monarch” and felt a little tingle of excitement flow through your veins at the sight of it, I encourage you to set your radio to the AM side of the radio dial tomorrow at lunch, on there at at the 1150 mark, especially around 12:18. This is a lifetime, golden opportunity. Not just for enthusiasts, but they are welcome to listen too.

Perhaps we can learn there is something we can do to help… like plant milkweed. In any regard, what may be now happening is a real tragedy, one worse than the extinction of the passenger pigeon. If it is determined that it is human activity that winds up killing off this most brave of insects, a bug who quite possibly travels in its short life, further than 85% of Delawareans ever get away from home, it will be a huge blemish against our human species.

And if you happen to see a Monarch, you can report your sightings here. You can be part of something big.

Twas the night of mid May,

The clouds were long shed,

The stars were all out,

The moon was half dead.

I’d just closed my eyes

In dark deepest dread.

I had a forewarning

Of what was ahead.

The river was foggy

So full of thick mist,

My eyes played tricks.

A hand grabbed my wrist

“What is it ” I cried

As my wrist was entwined.

“Come Hither”,  it hissed,

in a voice harsh and sublime.

“In your search of pure knowledge

Things are not as you know

Shapes shift,  spin  around.

Truth lies buried under snow

Down becomes up, and up, is then down”

“Plant only one seed

Something evil will grow”.

Something dark is afoot,

In spirit it has stalked,

If it wins out tomorrow,

Education is debauched….

Tomorrow at Two

It will take place in Bright Light.

What I feared from my heart,

In that deepest dark night.

The 147th House would vote,

Without any debate,

On something important

To all our children’s fate.

War would soon be declared

On all those teachers who were right.

They’d  all have to leave

Or stand up and fight.

A Bill with nice thoughts

Will be laid on the dock.

But in the dark wording it shields,

A most powerful shock.

Instead of making better,

It tears down all the schools,

Putting up cheap imitations

That mock  all the rules.

No more shall a teacher know

What her calling required?

She could only hope like her kids,

Her scores would help get her hired.

Instead of knowledge, proven and direct.

She’d be tested on simply how well she could bet.

Praxis One and Praxis Two

Those tests of the best.

Would now be retired.

By which test could “bid” best.

Instead of old classics,

New standards were wrought,

“Romeo and Juliette” now replaced

By “How To Properly Clean a Pot”.

Twas necessary to learn prose they said.

No matter if such a bore.

It left no brain cells still standing.

Well done, Common Core.

Delaware’s education is 35th best.

That Includes the Ivy Leagues,

And all those good schools out West

“Not Good Enough”!

The gauntlet was laid

We must tear it down quickly

Our consultant’s need paid.

We must start something new!

We don’t know what it is.

But without old constraints

We can create it like jizz.

Who will do this? Good question!

That we do not know.

But when it gets done,

Arne Duncun  will be here to show.

So we’ll  make it mysterious.

And hard to deduce.

Make the poor teachers sweat,

Think they’re all in the caboose.

We can brainwash them now,

Do it before they begin.

They will soon work for peanuts

Because that’s all we’ll send in.

We won’t let them pass

Till their eyes all have tears in,

We’ll switch things around

Like we do on kids with Pearson….

We’ll make them earn B’s

To get into our class.

Those who don’t earn them,

Can get in with a pass.

These new tough standards

Will make bad teaching stop.

Besides we will need them

In our Race To The  Top.

It says right here on line 53

“Must redo college standards”

Let us  buy them  new teacher ID’s

Which they can hang from their lanyards.

It says “redo”, not “raise levels” I see

Let us  make up our creed

Raise them higher or lower,

Or even sideways if we need.

So let’s scrap what we have,

Make new in our image.

Trash all classic standards,

We’ll make it a corporate scrimmage.

The tests we used to have,

Were so hard and so tough,

Lets’ sub them with easy ones,

Those scores will rise with fluff.

When the kids scream about testing

We’ll know we’ve done enough.

Let’s water the standards

But tell them they’re tough.

Do it with ed- gobblyspeak.

So those dummies in House

Without even a peek,

Vote YES like a mouse….

Since what you get out

Is What you put in,

We’ll have robots for teachers

Their union will end.

But we got to be careful,

We got to act fast,

If they catch what we’re doing,

This campaign can’t last.

Strike quickly, strike fast

Strike them hard like a flogger.

Can’t let them hear the truth,

Keep them far from that “blogger”.

Oh we’ll smile, we will praise,

We’ll do what we must.

What ever it takes

To turn those standards to dust.

Make Teachers in our image?

Yes, that’s what we’ll do.

We’ll count ourselves lucky

If they can count up to two.

The children? Don’t worry,

They’ll be fine as we speak.

We’ll teach them with tests,

So their knowledge will peak.

Then when it does,

We’ll know that we have won.

Common Core is in place.

Our work is now done.

Our friends in this Biz

Will now pay for our way.

When we meet our next challenger

Thinking he has something to say.

The Battle is ending

The war’s almost won.

We just need some dumb  asses

To vote  in S.B 51…..”

The specter was silent

It paused for a while

“Who are you? I said

I saw a faint smile.

It turned slowly towards me

And gave me a stare.

I could feel the electricity

From the bottom of each hair.

“Tell me” I inquired,

just one more time.

But the vision was fading

Into many fine lines

All that was left were the eyes,

And they gave me a shiver

It then grew transparent,

It was the Christina river.

So my friends, if you’re up,

If you read this in the morn.

It wasn’t a dream,

You must sound off your horn.

You must call down to Dover,

Let them know how you feel.

Hell copy and paste this.

Let them know this is for real.

We are being bamboozled

By clever and wit.

Our children won’t learn

Anything, not one little bit.

Teaching requires

Something you can’t test.

Requires a human you respect

Pushing to do your best.

We are moving away,

From what has worked well.

We are tearing down Rome

And burning it to hell.

This bill is too rash

Though it sounds pretty good.

It needs not to be rushed,

But debated as it should.

If anything is to change

It depends now on all of you.

Without your quick  input,

Like in the Senate, it will pass too.

It’s tearing down what is good

And replacing it with “what-ever”

Gotta be bad for the kids,

No matter hard they endeavor.

This bill needs work.

Though it’s ideas are nice.

It will mess things up royally

Without changes concise.

A simple amendment

Is all it would take.

To undo all the damage

And terrible things soon at stake.

A little snip of a scissors will do

Component V and Evaluations…

Just separate the two.

Because the way this is written

If you teach and you fail.

It’s the blacks and the poor,

Who lose and wind up in jail.

Their great teachers got fired,

Because they worked in the city.

The teachers in rich schools.

Got good scores, just sitting pretty.

This is the damage this Bill will soon do.

For under this plan

If your kids don’t test well,

Your career is so through

Doesn’t matter if their poor,

Or if their homes are all broken.

When it comes down to corporate,

All excuses are token

“it’s your fault” they’ll say

“It can’t be the test.

You’re lazy and useless

You didn’t do your best”.

Meanwhile in Newark,

Where teaching’s a breeze.

Just wave a magic wand,

And there is no pay-freeze.

Scores roll in higher

Because the curriculum is dumbed down.

Kids do all the work.

You smile looking down.

So reader, what do you think…

As is, what will this bill do?

If you were a new teacher,

if it was you starting anew.

Would you go to the city?

Where opportunity lies?

Teach out your heart?

And stifle your cries?

Or would you choose

The easy way out.

A lifelong career

With no second doubt.

It is so important

That this bill get changed

Otherwise our system

Will split from the strain.

Decouple the evaluations

From component Five.

Let’s do what we can

To keep education alive.

This bill needs work

On quite a few levels

That will only happen,

If this vote gets disheveled.

If you love your kids,

And kids of all ages,

You need to call

Make them retract their pledges.

They don’t know what’s in this bill.

Because they were told it’s ok.

Only the parents who vote

Can still save the day.

This is you I’m telling

Just so you know.

You need to go here,

And call all that you know.

Send them this poem,

It will get their attention,

Then give them the pitch,

Tell them they’ll go to detention.

What they’re about to do,

Is destroy our great state.

By Dismantling educational.quality

And by then it is too late.

This bill is on rush,

That i can tell you.

Vacation is coming.

But hopefully they’ll hear you.

Say “This Bill Cannot Pass”

Exactly as it is written.

“Change it, change it now

Before you get smitten”.

I hope these few words

Don’t fall on deaf ears.

I don’t want to see children

Through veils of thick tears….

It is you, it is me,

Who must carry this fight.

It is we who are parents.

We have the most right!.

.

True Story.

A parent called her child’s principal and referred to an IEP page which states that a child CAN refuse testing. The parent went on to say that she feels that this test serves no instructional purpose except to punish schools, teachers and disabled children. Any test that her child has to take should serve the purpose of developing appropriate IEP goals which will help her child acquire the skills needed to eventually master an appropriate curriculum that will enable her child acquire a high school diploma. The parent then stated that on the day of the testing, the child will refuse to take the examination……

The Principal immediately called my colleague (an data-reading trainer) down to the office and threw up his hands. Upset, the Principal said that if bunches of parents were to request this, the school’s annual yearly progress will be destroyed if his number of untested children dipped below 95%. He moaned that the school was at the cusp of being closed and that it was obvious that this parent was too stupid to write this letter herself. Someone had to have helped advise her. The principal wanted my colleague to spy around the lounge and find out which teacher could have helped this parent and this principal would make sure criminal charges would certainly be brought. The principal confided to my colleague that the letter was sent to “legal” and the “Network”.

This resulted in a quickly-called conference call between the legal department of the (New York) Department of Education and the special education administrator of this school’s Child First Network (or should we call it Child Last). According to my colleague, the special education administrator said to just ignore the letter. The network person said that disabled child is too stupid to understand why she would be refusing and could easily be ignored. The lawyer for Tweed said parents cannot opt out according to state law. She said that the parent stating that the child will refuse testing is equivalent to opting out because the child’s justification for refusal derives from the parent and not the child. After about a half hour of banter, these administrator, principal and lawyer decided that if the child refuses, the Principal should suspend the child and the administration of children’s services should be called so the parent can be charged with educational neglect. Finally, the testing coordinator, who was part of this conference call, meekly added, “What if the parent seeks out a professional advocate and commences legal action?” The DOE lawyer said not to worry because such parents are too stupid to do this……

This Kafka-isk experience STEMS from this one factor: putting the test first.  In fact, even with a quick read, one can see that from the top all the way down, everyone involved in this vignette, is focused on the test….

*And I thought education was about learning*.

If you need any more convincing that our educational system is failing us, this story should be enough to persuade you that scores on these made-up tests tehd to be the only thing that matters… Your son or daughter, doesn’t matter…Nor do teachers. Nor do principals. Nor do Parents….

So you ask what was the outcome?

They told the Principal that he should lay down the law. He was to tell the parent that when the child shows up for testing, the assessment would be given. If the child refuses to take the test, the child will be sent to a guidance counselor and any missed part of the assessment would be administered during a make-up day. They admonished the principal not to worry about any legal action, because if the parent went that route, it would take time and by then the child haven taken the assessment would be a fait accompli….

This is the atmosphere that has invaded our schools since the beginning of the RTTT and the Rodel’s Foundations advent into Delaware’s education… Not even No Child Left Behind was this bad, because the corporations were not a part of the deal.  Not even Carper’s testing program got to this point, where scores closed schools, fired teachers, demoted administrators, and made billions for investors getting state monies to STEM the bleeding….

Someone forgot the children. Should one parents correct assessment truly cause this much trouble?

Only if the test is the only thing that matter.