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As anyone who has engaged charter supporters in their quest to determine what is best for education in the long run, knows these myths are false…..

  • Charters teach better.
  • Charters score better on standardized tests
  • Charters have few discipline problems
  • Charters have a high demand for seats, you can’t argue against high demand.

None of these hold up under scrutiny…  One quickly finds that in Delaware, whenever anyone argues for the continuation of Charter Schools, they are arguing for the continuation of one single charter school:  The Charter School of Newark. or CSN for short.. (One almost wishes they would add Yorklyn to their title so we could experience fond memories whenever we called it:  CSN & Y…)

There is only one argument for charters that has any merit, and that merit is not logical, but a strong one politically… People want to send their children to charters so why get rid of them…

True, Newark Charter (sorry Yorklyn) does have a waiting list, and so does Red Clay’s Wilmington Charter…

But what about the great and prestigious Academy of Dover?

Kevin tells us… 

Mr. Blowman noted that the school’s enrollment has declined steadily over the years, from 308 students in school year 2013-14 to 247 students this school year.

Their approved charter enrollment is 300 students.  Charters can’t go below 80% of that, so their magic number is 240.  How bad is it?  To put things in perspective, they decreased their Kindergarten classes from 3 to 2 this year because of lower enrollment.  That is their bread and butter for future growth….

So… Here is the bottom line….

IF……

  • Charters can’t teach better.
  • Charters can’t score better on standardized tests
  • Charters can’t have few discipline problems
  • Charters can’t have a high demand for seats,

Why do we still have this failed policy in place???  For just one school protected by the legislator who wrote the original legislation allowing Delaware to expirement with the then new innovation then called the Charter School theory?  He is, after all the head of the Senate Education Committee and he will have to be voted out or overridden by all other members to effect any change…

Why are we letting one person run the rest of Delaware’s public schools into the ground?  Even with one fifth of their income stolen from them, Delaware public schools are still the main choice of Delaware parents… Charters can’t even keep the minimum required number of seats filled?

This is why all need to send a donation to Dave Sokola’s opponent, Meredith Chapman.   If you live in the eighth, which runs the western border from Newark Charter School up to Hockessin, you lucky few get to vote to replace him.

 

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In a battle of hearts and minds between the lobbyists of reformers and the advocates for making young black lives truly matter, the NCAAP just resolved to call for the end of Charter Schools…   The significance being: that the truth is growing daily inside people’s brains that the only reason to have two separate and unequal school systems (one for the affluent and another for the poor), is to segregate.

There is absolutely and unequivocally no other reason.

More here……

Final Rules on Teacher Preparation — page 91-92;  US Department of Education.

As the Rogue Ones all gather their forces to defeat the dark monstrosity being built on the edge of their star system, they got a much needed assist from the Feds coming to their rescue.

It was anticipated that teacher colleges would need to provide proof of their graduates’ classroom skills in helping advance student learning, under proposed rules issued Nov. 25 by the U.S. Department of Education…

Programs that failed to do so could eventually be blocked from offering financial aid to would-be K-12 teachers in the form of federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education, or TEACH, grants, according to the long-delayed proposal.  The rules are the Obama administration’s attempt to toughen what have long been considered ineffectual requirements left over from “No Child Left Behind”, for teacher-preparation programs in Title II of the Higher Education Act…

The U.S. Department of Education yesterday released its long-awaited final rules on teacher preparation.

Under the rules, states will be required each year to rate all of its traditional, alternative and distance prep programs as either effective, at-risk, or low-performing….

The annual ratings will be based on several metrics, such as a) the number of graduates who get jobs in high-needs schools, b) how long these graduates stay in the teaching profession, and c) how effective they are as teachers, judging from classroom observations as well as their students’ academic performance...

This is in direct opposition to the thrust of Dave Sokola’s educational policies which have had the direct consequence of destroying public education, thereby elevating and illuminating Charter Schools as the more desirable.  His policies preclude running off teachers, they preclude closing schools, and they preclude holding public schools to low ratings while providing Charter Schools with high ones… 

As of today, the thrust of all those policies now take us in the wrong direction to get Title I funding.

  • Instead of running teachers out of high needs schools, we need to get them to stay in high needs schools.
  • Instead of helping the state achieve it’s educational goals, TFA (Teachers For America) now hinders the state from achieving its goals.
  • Instead of making life hell on teachers in high needs schools, the state needs to all it can to maintain, grow, and prosper all those teachers in high needs schools. Every teacher in a high needs school  who quits, now endangers the income the state receives from the Federal Government. Free money that would need to be made up, if it were ever lost.

In a major change from the proposed rules—which were subject to heavy criticism from the fieldstudent learning will not have to be based on test scores or the proxy of teacher evaluations based on student test gains; rather, states will have the flexibility to use other measures deemed “relevant to student outcomes” and determine how various components of their systems are weighted…

 

This is the exact passage which will require the tweaking of SB51 or now it would just be reworking Title 14, Chapter 12…Subchapter VIII – Educator Preparation Programs.

e) Educator preparation programs shall collaborate with the Department to collect and report data on the performance and effectiveness of program graduates. At a minimum, such data shall measure performance and effectiveness of program graduates by student achievement. The effectiveness of each graduate shall be reported for a period of 5 years following graduation for each graduate who is employed as an educator in the State. Data shall be reported on an annual basis. The Department shall make such data available to the public.

(f) The Department shall promulgate rules and regulations governing educator preparation programs pursuant to this subchapter in collaboration with Delaware educators.

And here is the proper tweaking necessary to put Delaware’s Empire of Education, back under Inter-Galactic Law….. 🙂

e) Educator preparation programs shall collaborate with the Department to collect and report data on the performance and effectiveness of program graduates. At a minimum, s Such data measures performance and the effectiveness of educator preparation program graduates by student achievement. The effectiveness of each graduate shall be reported for a period of 5 years following graduation for each graduate who is employed as an educator in the State. Data shall be reported on an annual basis. The Department shall make such data available to the public. State mandated student test scores which have been proven to be ineffective determiners of teacher effectiveness, cannot be part of the evaluation process.

(f) The Department with the approval of the General Assembly, shall promulgate rules and regulations governing educator preparation programs pursuant to this subchapter in collaboration with Delaware educators.

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I look forward to these being put on the table in the first days of the new legislature…

For the timeline is thus… Under the rules, states must establish their reporting systems in the 2016-2017 school year, and can use the following school year to test out their systems. All reporting systems must be in effect by 2018-2019 school year.

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In another change from the draft rules, states will no longer be required to ensure that programs only accept top-performing students, as long as all students are held to a high bar by the program’s end. The aim here is to ensure that prep programs can recruit diverse candidates into the teaching profession.

Requiring another change in Sokola’s SB51 which is now

Title 14  Chapter 12…

Subchapter VIII.  Education Preparation Programs

  • (b) Each educator preparation program approved by the Department shall establish rigorous entry requirements as prerequisites for admission into the program. At a minimum, each program shall require applicants to:

    (1) Have a grade point average of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or a grade point average in the top fiftieth percentile for coursework completed during the most recent 2 years of the applicant’s general education, whether secondary or post-secondary; or

    (2)(1) Demonstrate mastery of general knowledge, including the ability to read, write, and compute, by achieving a minimum score on a standardized test normed to the general college-bound population, such as Praxis, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), or American College Test (ACT), as approved by the Department.

    Each educator preparation program may waive these admissions requirements for up to 10 20%of the students admitted. Programs shall implement strategies to ensure that students admitted under such a waiver receive assistance to demonstrate competencies to successfully meet requirements for program completion.

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    Never underestimate the power …of the Force…..

 

As tiny pieces of evidence slowly matriculate like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle which slowly begin to show the image of what is to come, another critical piece of the puzzle became available to the public today….

What a full blown audit of Newark Charter School would give us, would be the equivalent of looking at the image on the box the puzzle came in, as opposed to trying to guess blind what the puzzle would look like when finished…

We can either do the audit now, or we can do it later. But as the pieces of the growing puzzle now show, there is a very strong oder of malfeasance emanating from the structures off Elkton Rd., just this side of the Maryland State Line.

A  well-esteemed state auditor was pulled off the investigation of this school by her political boss. Instead of the investigation going forward, it was halted. Letters to the charter schools were sent privately outlining what had been found. You can see some of those letters here….

Newark Charter School is in violation of the IRS mandated law that all charter schools file IRS form 990.  Newark Charter School has never filed… Doing so would leave a track record allowing one to track money disappearing from year to year.  One can see why there is a lot of political heat applied to anyone attempting to investigate the insides of that furnace….

Furthermore, under the new audit law passed last year… any Charter School failing an audit, can be audited by the State Auditor.  Otherwise they can employ their own auditors who they can control….

“The State Auditor of Accounts office would also be audited for that fiscal year by the Auditor of Accounts.  By making the petty cash audit turn into letters instead of a full-blown inspection report, those five charter schools will not get a full financial audit by the Auditor of Accounts office this year.”

Which would make signories of the lawsuit against Christina School District for even more funding than legally required,  all guilty of a gross mishandling of money they already have….

In other words,  the thieves did not want it known they were stealing money, until the money was first delivered into their hands…

So… if you really want to fix this, what do you do?

First and foremost:  cut the head off the body.. Defeat Dave Sokola in his Senatorial Election for District 8 in North Newark to South Hockessin.  If you live there, vote for Meredith Chapman for State Senate.  If you don’t, please go here to donate… Meredith Chapman for Senate.

Why is this critical?  Because in the Senate this year a tough audit bill on charter schools was winning and Dave Sokola, the more senior of the legislators and one to whom many legislative favors are owed, substituted the bill allowing guilty charters to “hire” their own auditor. This left no doubt for all to see that any attempt to make public schools better and charter schools more accountable, will be shot down as long as he is in legislature…

You HAVE to take out the gun doing the shooting… Please donate… Please vote for Meredith Chapman…

Secondly and more to the point. you need to began the clamor of an audit of Newark Charter School.   Why do they need more money than public schools when they are the largest Charter in Delaware?  How are they financing the two new buildings they have built and staffed off the per student funding from Christina? Why are they charging parents for their child’s field trips and student activities to the tune of $440,000 and then billing the state for at same amount (Delaware Checkbook) ?  What are they doing with that extra money? Is it legal? Is it extortion of the parents?  Can public schools also charge parents of their students $440,000 per each 2000 students?  Is there a double standard? Why did they continue to flaunt the IRS standard requiring they file a IRS 990, even when explicitly warned by the IRS not to do so?  Is everything really “ok” there, or are they in very huge deep trouble and are simply moving the same shell around to whomever is looking next?

All these demand a full audit of the Newark Charter School and obvious from the release coming from one of our own state legislators elected to Delaware’s House of Delegates, we cannot trust the Republican Tom Wagner to fulfill society’s obligation and tear into the financial labyrinth that obfuscates Newark Charter School’s accounting.  The number one reason for doing any audit, is that is always cheaper to find a problem early on and then correct it as opposed to let it go unattended, finally costing millions to correct damage that could have more cheaply been nipped in the bud….

Delaware taxpayers need to demand a full audit of Newark Charter School … and hopefully will be able to do so when Dave Sokola is no longer there to squelch it….

Thirdly:  if there is nothing wrong with Newark Charter School, and everything is on the up and up,  a full blown audit going back to 2008 would certainly do very much to dampen the anti-Charter movement growing like a flash fire in this state…  “Ok”, all would say, “so the biggest charter is NOT corrupt, we can move on then”… It would be the best thing that could ever happen to the entire Delaware Charter Network….

So then…. With what they know…. why are they fighting it so stringently?  Why did they ask that the State Auditor of Accounts not investigate their finances though required by law to look at all public entities?  Why did they lobby for a bill to allow their own auditors, ones they can direct and force to hide things is necessary, instead of impartial ones?  Why did they demand and get a very awesome public servant pulled off the ongoing audit of all charters, and have her removed from the force and kept under a gag order?

When one is doing wrong, they always telegraph by their actions exactly where it is they do not want you to look…

All signals point that place to be Newark Charter School… That is where all the dirt is hidden… That will either bring down the entire charter myth that they are indeed good institutions, or it will exonerate many of doing their best under the hard circumstances they encountered…

What we need is a bill passed thorough legislature, ordering the Christina District to hire the auditor and receive the report of Newark Charter Schools finances from 2008 to now… After all, it is all Christina’s money keeping that Charter School afloat; it should be them to whom the auditor must answer and appease…..

 

 

It takes a little sleuthing to figure out what happened.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

subsection (e)

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

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

Where:

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

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

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

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

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

minus Local Cafeteria expenditures….

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rather odd from someone who wrote the legislation.

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

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

Dave Sokola Cough Cough Darrell Issa

Darrell Issa is known for not giving a damn about truth, his constituents, or his honor. He is responsible for 40’s of millions spent on witch hunts to find dirt on Hillary Clinton.  (How is that working out for you, bro?)  He is the richest elected official in Washington, all of his money from Viper Car Alarm…. (DE, do, DE, do, whooop, whooop,).. As a kid, he was also arrested for car theft….

Dave Sokola, whose district contains some of the best of Christina School District’s public schools has been gutting those schools to finance Newark Charter School.  This charter school  was “that same one” which was forced to abandon its “white only” admissions policy and use a fixed lottery instead. Still, people they don’t like, don’t get in the lottery.

Hence the correlation mentioned in the title… One sells out the ethics of our national government; the other sells out our ethics of our little children…

Recently a charter heist of $3 million dollars concocted in the middle of the night, was sprung on Christina.  Legislative authorities were alerted in time to stop it, thank goodness. But Dave Sokola hotly defended the stealing of the money in a letter to a Charter School constituent….

One can dance around whether Sokola is culpable or not.  He was not involved in the decision, that was the Delaware Department of Education and if he’d remained silent, no one would have known.  However his outburst was published and is now public knowledge.

Christina educates 15,000 students every day.  Newark Charter only 2000.  But Sokola wanted to take $3 million away from those 15,000 and give it to only those 2000, who btw, are from wealthy parents, almost all white.  This same school was caught this summer fudging its books, forcing the collection of “dues” from parents for field trips, and then charging the state for those same field trips and pocketing the money…

Yep, those are Dave Sokola’s friends.   Are you now seeing the connection?  Both Issa and Sokola are about the fleecing… Taking from the public and putting into the hands of the elite, their “friends”….

Darrell Issa As The New Sokola

Good news is that he is up for election against a good candidate. We can bump him out and have a public school champion working hard to keep Greater Newark’s money in our schools instead of always trying to find another owner for it…….