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One thing that is important this election season is to find out who is for charter schools and who is against them… Then vote for someone who is against them….

Recently some regulations were changed deep inside the DOE to allow more money to go to charters and be taken out of public schools… They supposedly were stopped by loud noises from legislators. But such will keep coming again and again as long as Charter School law remains open and charters still remain an option….

Did you ever wonder why they always have to “sneak” charter school changes through? Why do YOU sneak things, like past your wife or husband, like past your boss, like past your children? Is it because you don’t want to get caught?  Exactly… So why are we “sneaking” changes to charter law in the dead of night?

Because it is bad legislation for Delaware’s soon to be one million people, and it benefits probably 5 friends of those players pushing it forward….  The only way to pass something that will piss off one million to make 5 people happy, is to keep it hidden from those million people…

When someone says at any forum that they are FOR charter schools…. if you can, ask them in public this question:…. Since only one in five children go to charter schools in Delaware, and since Charter Schools take money away from those other four…. how do you propose re-compensating those Public Schools who get hurt by having a Charter take their money, so the levels of educations for 4 out of 5 Delaware children, can remain the same??

And that’s the rub… When they say we are going to improve education for one fifth of our children by great charter schools, what isn’t said at all, is that 4/5ths of our children now have to suffer educational losses due to funding cuts!

How can that even make education better?

If you have a +1 and then add a -4 to it, Common Core or not, you still get a -3 compared to zero change if you did nothing at all….

So ask them, in public, out loud, how if they promote a charter, what is their plan to fill the gap of funding in the public schools system caused by those very charters they support….

Then, don’t vote for them.  Vote for their opponent…

Because in all campaigns leading up to this year…. there has been deep silence on that other side of the issue…..

But that other side,  the harm they do to the MAJORITY of students, is exactly why charters in 25 years, have never adequately functioned to improve education across any wide area….

This post will deal with incumbents.  We are dealing solely with past records, not future promises. We will trace votes of our current legislators over the past 4 years with a focus on the three big bills which impacted our schools and their education resources. Those bills were SB 51. HB 165, and HB 50.  The first two were lobbyist written bills to allow changes beneficial to privatization of education. The third bill was in retaliation to a DOE gone wild and gave ultimate power to parents over the education of their children, and tied the hands of the bureaucrats who were testing insanely… So an ideal candidate would have voted no on the first two listed, and YES on the last.

SB 51 was offered under the guise of improving teacher’s qualifications, but its intent was to insert the Markell corporate machine into teacher’s certification process….. This was a Sokola sponsored bill and only he knew what was in it. It was touchdown run through the Senate getting unanimous passage, and had very few detractors in the House due to both the glibness of its synopsis and the speed with which it got rammed through… Prior to this bill, teacher certification was an independent process, handled by non political national accrediting agencies. After this bill, all Delaware teaching schools had to be licensed and “certified” by the Delaware DOE… This bill really has nothing else in it except it being a power move to bring independent teacher accreditation under the direct thumb of the DOE…  After this bill, even though you passed all your classes at an accredited university, you still have to go through an evaluation of your transcript by the DOE through a process called “course counting.” Depending on what current Rodel person does that, your degree program could either stand up and get you certified, or you get a deficiency letter telling you that you need so many hours of this or that to be certified.

Here was the synopsis which glowingly sounds fantastic; so much not a full minute was wasted in its discussion in both the committee and floor of the Senate..

This bill strengthens teacher preparation by raising the standards for entry into the teaching profession.  More specifically, the bill requires all Delaware teacher preparation programs to set high admission and completion requirements, to provide high-quality student teaching experiences and ongoing evaluation of program participants, and to prepare prospective elementary school teachers in age-appropriate literacy and mathematics instruction.  Further, the bill requires preparation programs to track and report data on the effectiveness of their programs.  Finally, the bill requires new educators to pass both an approved content-readiness exam and performance assessment before receiving an initial license, and requires special education teachers to demonstrate content knowledge if they plan to teach in a secondary subject.

 

And below is the actual language added to the bill.

 

Consistent with § 122 of this title, no individual, public or private educational association, corporation, or institution, including any institution of post-secondary education, shall offer an educator preparation program for the training of educators to be licensed in this State without first having procured the assent of the Department for the offering of such programs. A program approval process based on standards adopted pursuant to this section must be established for educator preparation approval programs, phased in according to timelines determined by the Department, and fully implemented for such programs in the State. Each program shall be approved by the Department based upon significant, objective, and quantifiable performance measures.

 

Yeah, they got us.. sneaked it through before anyone read it.  Ask Paul Baumbach what happened when he stood up to make an objection to it in the House…..

The next critical bill was HB 165: The Charter School Carpet Bombing Run Bill. This bill provided conduit funding to charters. It allowed the DOE to directly transfer funds from public districts to charter schools if those came in arrears.  It allowed conduit bond financing. It established the Charter School Performance Fund whose winners would be handpicked by the DOE with no transparency.  It put all of the state’s charters under a charter contract with the DOE. The DOE became the sole decider of chartering a school. Districts can work concurrently but if they disagree with the DOE, the DOE has final word.  it allows for 10 year charter approvals at sole discretion of DOE……

Again as with SB51, with the exception of the opening of conduit funding, the details themselves are innocuous.  Funds were previously transferred from district to charters, all charters already had authorizers, charters were free to establish their own performance fund if they wish…. But what this bill did accomplish and used conduit funding as its leverage, was to exert state control over all charters. The charters must answer to the state, and by default, since they must, they have to comply with everything the State says… Now when the state is being good, there is no problem with this.  But when the state’s DOE gets taken over by a “non profit” and is being bad, there is no recourse…

Let’s rephrase that… in the olden days, as in with a disagreement with Christina, the state would have to come to the board and present its case and the board could look at all options and possibilities and say “no” to the proposal saving its taxpayers hundreds of millions over multiple years…  But that got flipped. Now, the boards must go to the state and make their cases, to them, and after hearing (and dismissing) contrary evidence, the state can hold to its decision… With this passage, you, the local citizen, just got stripped of your power.

Of course, nothing in the synopsis would give you a clue of how things would change….

This bill updates the State’s charter school law to improve charter school accountability and support. More specifically, the bill raises the bar for starting charter schools with a pre-screening process, applicant interviews and additional opportunities to receive and use public input regarding the impact of new and expanded charter schools. Further, the bill increases charter flexibility and support, with ten year terms for high-performing charters, more timely allocation of funding, clear allowance of conduit financing, equalized minor capital funding, and creation of a charter school performance fund. Finally, the bill sets and enforces consistent expectations for charter schools, with authorizer-charter agreements, required plans for board member training, required provision of lunch to eligible students, clear closure protocols and a revised renewal process that is aligned to the charter performance frameworks.

Yet the language of the bill itself, took on a more undemocratic Draconian tone….

Applicants seeking a charter from the Department that have submitted an application deemed by the Department sufficient to receive a full review shall be offered an opportunity for an interview in support of the application.  Such interviews will allow the Department to assess applicant capacity, allow it to clarify information provided in the application, and gather additional information. The information gained in the interview process may be among the factors considered by the approving authority in approving or denying an application.

Now whereas there could be a local districts’ concern over having KIPP or another mega charter chain come into their district and begin tearing apart the entire woven educational fabric put in place over decades, those concerns to the state are now irrelevant. Because if governor’s office disagrees and perhaps wishes to use KIPP as a weapon to punish that district for its earlier non-support of his initiatives, guess who gets final say now? Plus, from the corporates’ point of view, whereas it is impossible for them to bribe all a district’s citizens to support something not in their best interests. it is very easy to offer a bribe to individuals..

Secondly, this allowed private entities, to apply and use government monies to update and upgrade their structures.  Renting out ones building to a charter then using state funds to renovated that building up to code for children, is a free way to increase the value of your property.  We all know of former politicians who used the “discretionary street fund” to improve the property values in their neighborhood.  That program was finally killed because of the appearance of impropriety.  This bill now allows that for privatized “charter” schools.

Thirdly, we come to the HB 50, The Opt-Out Bill.

This bill was initiated by parent-student advocate John Kowalko of Newark and threw overwhelming support to letting parents be the ones to determine whether their child should or should not comply with the fail, failing, failed experiment involving the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  Never mind that is what the Constitution of the United States of America calls for. Never mind that the original charter of the Us Department of Education explicitly states that the Federal Government shall have no control of curriculum or individual details involving education. Never mind that his bill would not change state law, it just outlined already existing policy it so it would be more prominent.

The corporatist’s killed it.  It was done not on the floor of the House, not on the floor of the Senate, both on which they were overwhelmingly passed. No.  It was sneaked though by a governor’s veto AND by speaker of the house Pete Schwartzkopf’s burial of the re-vote in the Speaker’s House Desk Drawer.

It is one of the responsibilities of citizens in a democracy to pay attention to the workings of their governments and when officials fail to follow their bosses orders (you), to fire them and replace them with someone fresh…

We have such an opportunity now and if we do want to live in a future that gets better instead of worse, we do have to pay attention and see who votes what, who supports us and who stabs us in the backs… For our ignorance in letting the same people stick knives in us over and over and over and over is the primary source of all the pain we feel today.
We have a job, an obligation, a duty… When we don’t do our duty, the entire fabric of the hammock upon which our whole life rests… begins to unravel leading to a nasty surprise at some future point….

Here is where you find out who your Delaware Representative IS

Here is where you find out who your Delaware Senator IS

Here are the votes on the three litmus test bills above that separated the sheep from the goats…

SB 51:  Teacher Subjugation

 

SB 51 SenSB 51 House

HB 165  Charter School Dominance

HB 165 HouseHB 165 Senate

And for guaranteeing every parents’ Constitutional right to determine the future of their own child…..
HB 50 (VETOED BY JACK MARKELL, GOVERNOR)

HB 165 House HB 50 House HB 50 Sen

We’ve been given a great litmus test to sort through our representative and senators and see what their soul really consists of when they think no one is watching…  This has always been the best judge of character; not what they pontificate when put on the podium, but in how they live their lives when no one is watching….

Some things to look for.  Did your representative migrate to the truth as more was revealed, or did they dig in on a bad original decision?  Did your representative act as a leader? Did they have the foresight to be on the right side of this cause before all the discussion entailed?  Or did your representative vote “as he was told to” by the governor…

(The last case (HB 50) shows the sycophants plain as day!)  You are smart enough to figure whose side you want to vote for.  I’m just reminding you of how they act when they think they are alone…

Does your education department try to manipulate the public with false information and one-sided viewpoints?

They then are not on the up and up.

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Does your education department try to sneak things past you without you knowing?

They then are not on the up and up.

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Does your education department try to bypass your legislative process?

They then are not on the up and up..

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Does your education department establish rules and regulations with no public input or discussion, or does it appoint boards of people it holds close and keep out people with differing opinions?

They then are not on the up and up…

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Does your education department try to make you think things are really bad, but there is no evidence supporting them other than what they make up?

They then are not on the up and up….

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Does your education department cater to business while demeaning teachers, parents, and students?

They then are not on the up and up…. There are no businesses operating out of those undersized school desks in any of our classrooms. They have no part in the decisions being made by our school officials.

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If your education department does any of these, rest assured,

They are not on the up and up…. Something is wrong…. All of these things are non-democratic. Your education department is running a totalitarian operation in your state which is unconstitutional…

Think about it… If you were running an operation that would benefit the entire state, wouldn’t you want people to know?  Of course.  You would sell it, and sell it, and sell it, and sell it, and the people would buy it, and buy it, and buy it, and everybody would be on the same page.

But when you have to sneak things through as the only way to get it done, telling just a few people while leaving the rest in complete darkness… well, why ARE you sneaking something through except for the fact that it is bad overall and couldn’t get the votes required to make it into policy?  If something is that bad, why then, do we need it?

 

 

 

Some people think we have to live with having Charter Schools.. John Young just put forward a motion that was passed by the Christina School Board opening it up for charter applications 2017-2018.  Many members on that board have been anti-charter in the past so now might be a good time to examine the pros and cons for letting Charter Schools exist…

We’ll start with the perception.  Charter Schools have an overall decent perception for one reason.  When one looks at test scores rankings of a state’s schools, the top spots almost invariably are held by the same charters year after year.  Therefore that being the only acquaintance non school parents have with education, that remains their go-to opinion.

There is a reason that they lead.. These charters control who gets in; public school’s can’t and accept everyone. For the same reason it is why MIT is the smartest college/university in the nation; they select only from people who have perfect scores on their SAT’s.  So the reputation MIT has among colleges, is the best analogy to describe how most Delawareans unfamiliar with educational issues, view charters…

Not all charter schools are this good however. One charter is 103rd out of 106 schools. Another is 95th out of the same 106. Another is 92nd. Another is 90th…  So whereas we do have two good charters that lead the pack in state scoring, we also have at least 5 that have 90 public schools doing much, much better than them…

First lesson in dealing with charters is:  don’t generalize. Don’t think all charters are good.

When you say you want to get rid of charters, you never hear complaints from parents of those charters who have 90 public schools doing better than their child’s school. Those parents dream of a new entity coming in and taking over their charters.  No, you only hear from parents who support the two top schools, because having their child return to a public school, for them is a step down.

Charters take money from public schools.  Some quote this as a good thing and cite the scores of the top schools versus how much money they save the state.  They cherry pick their results and say, “see, we educate better for less”.  But charters also include those near the bottom. They educate worse for less.  And they take both money and children from public schools who ARE doing a better job at educating… and desperately need that money they are giving up.

When you look at the charter problem there are two ways to react.  One is emotionally. The other is rationally.

The emotional way is to say, “oh no, I love my kid’s charter; I’ll fight to keep it”.  It is not based on rationality at all, but an emotional bond one has with it because of one’s child…

The rational way is to say… ok, let’s look at the math.  One of every Delaware child is a charter students and some of those schools are great, and some are not.  (If curious you can go through here and peg them on their rank of all state schools).  But by default, 4 of every 5 Delaware students must remain in public schools.

So if you (assuming the charter is one of the good ones), take a child out of the public school and put him in a better charter school, you get a benefit.  Call it +1 student doing better than they would had they remained… But, that money leaving the school, means that there is less money now to be spent in the public schools. Christina leads the pack with $21 million flowing out of its district; $21 million which could otherwise be spent in its existing schools.  Therefore having the charter close by negatively impacts those 4 out of 5 remaining in public schools. Some cutbacks have to occur.

So when you look at programs, you have to balance the positives with the negatives. Charter supporters and charter lobbyists often use slight of hand to only show you the positives.  But one can’t accept only the positives and ignore the negatives if one is intent on making good policy. Therefore, despite the current myopia inside our DOE, the reality is that with Charters you could theoretically get a +1 benefit to one fifth of your students, but a negative -4  would occur for all those remaining in public school.

Bottom line of charter impact?  -04 + 01  =  -03…   Your net total if applying the impact of charters across all spectrums of your student body, is a negative number.  It is a negative number because you have to account for those hurt by an action as well as those helped.. For example if we only looked at those who are being helped, robbing banks would be a great career….

In every argument about charters… someone needs to bring up the question:  what is its impact on those remaining in public schools?

Balance could theoretically be leveled like this:

  • Charters have more student activities.  What is the impact of that on those remaining in public schools?
  • Charters have more going to college!  What is the impact of that on those remaining in public schools?
  • Charters have the top scores in the state!  What is the impact of that on those remaining in public schools?
  • Charters provide a choice. Parents should not be stuck.  What is the impact of that on those who are stuck in public schools?

This IS the million dollar question that must be considered for every positive a charter might have!   Because no matter how great that charter IS, it is hurting 4 others for every gain it gets putting society in the negative as far as learning goes.

This is not just an academic thought exercise.  Everywhere charters have entered a school district or system, the overall measurements of student achievements has dropped system wide.  Some schools develop to do well, but there are 4 times their number that are imploding from a gross lack of financial renewal.

To consider charters as a benefit, you have to close your eyes to the negative impact they create outside their four walls and simply just look at the inside parameters of that school.

A schoolmaster can well afford to do that. Same with a Charter school parent.  But no one at a district level, state level, or national level can responsibly ignore the harm that having charters around, does to a public school system…

So people can defend charters all they want. They can pretend that those against charters are pooh-pooh babies or whatever.  They can deprecate with slurs anyone who dares contest that charters are the sole white knight of education… (they are predominantly white)…

And if they are successful at swaying those in power, the entire system of education gets worse, and worse, and worse as time flies. Because you can’t go against math….

-4  +  1  =   -3……

There is absolutely no way you can win with an equation like that.

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin posted an RYP and here were some questionable points that need clarity or legislative safeguards to protect our children.

The Vendor shall develop the interfaces with the DDOE’s Student Information System
(Delaware Student Information System – DELSIS), the DDOE Code Library, and DDOE’s Identity Management System……..Interfaces must include data transfer capabilities from DELSIS and the Delaware Code Library…  PAGE 16

Comment:  one can see transfer to, but why from?  Why would the DOE want to be able to manipulate data involving specific children and their specific test scores?
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The proposed system must support collecting and maintaining records for students as they move through the school system, and archived until four years after graduation from high school or the student’s 22nd  birthday, whichever occurs first…. PAGE 15
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Vendors must describe in their proposal:
  • The mechanism for detailed test results (test history) to be archived in off-line storage
  • The normal time period for maintaining historical on-line information
  • The process to archive data off-line through user-controlled purge criteria
  • The process to restore archived data into current system, use it, and then purge it in a controlled manner, retaining the archived data off-line. PAGE 16

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Data files containing scores must be available at the DDOE within forty-five (45) calendar days after a student completes the assessment. Assessment results files must provide both student level and item level data.  PAGE 19

Comment: which means they must have the scores by July 15th if last test was before June 1st.

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Vendor must provide a method for:
  • Changing the SID associated with a test without having to end the test.
  • Ending a test event in cases where the test results are likely invalid
  • Changing an Institution Identifier associated with a test
  • Restarting a test from the beginning and while not incrementing the total number of opportunities used by a student
  • Restarting or resuming a test after a student moves to another location within the Delaware public schools, based on the SID.  PAGE 19

 

Comment: being able to change ID’s of either the student or school in the middle of the test from a central office does not instill confidence in this test.
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The Vendor shall propose procedures for monitoring the accuracy of readers’ (grader’s) scores throughout the scoring process using papers from the benchmarking sessions. The readers (graders) should be unaware they are scoring papers with pre-established scores.  PAGE 24
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The Vendor shall propose a reader quality control reporting system for hand-scoring and indicate how they will use that system to ensure quality scoring. The Vendor shall include the following items in that system:
  •  tracking of reader scores/discrepancies;
  •  use of training reports that show reader performance during training and qualifying;
  •  inter-reader reliability reports;
  •  recalibration reports that show reader scores on the recalibration sets;
  •  troubled paper identification in which papers with extremely personal and/or offensive content are flagged and forwarded to DDOE along with the necessary identifying information;
  • and other reports and/or procedures as deemed necessary by the Vendor to ensure a quality scoring  PAGE 24

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The DDOE would prefer not to use any materials that need copyright permission.  PAGE 25

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Saturday:  News Journal publishes hit piece on Kathleen Davies, auditor of accounts working under Tom Wagner.

Sunday:  kavips  and Kevin glean from the article’s writing that no wrong doing was behind the removal and this was done to hush up a politically sensitive scandal which Kathleen had uncovered.

Sunday:  Kim Williams comments auditor Tom Wagner told her he pulled the audit, and sent letters to the charter schools.

Monday:  kavips points out that something at Newark Charter School scared someone and caused the audit to be pulled and Kathleen to be sidelined.

Tuesday:  Using the Delaware Checkbook,  kavips does a piece showing the inequities of education between Bancroft where teachers have to pay out of pocket for pencils for their kids, and Newark Charter which spends almost .5 million alone on student activities.

Wednesday:  Several Charter parents call out kavips saying they pay for those trips, the state did not.

Saturday:  Kevin posts an expose on Newark Charter showing that they did not use the money given by parents for the trips, but charged all those trips to the state, and instead used the parent’s money for two capital projects which are not paid for by the state.

In one week, we now know why Kathleen Davies was put on administrative leave. Ironically, this would still be undercover if they had just removed Kathleen without trying to slam her in the press without having anything to slam her with…

What we know…

Newark Charter School does not file an IRS 990 as required by law… VIOLATION

Newark Charter Collects money from parents for field trips and uses it for capital projects.  VIOLATION

Kathleen was removed from the audits and put on leave; Tom Wagner, State Auditor, stopped the audits and sent letters instead to charter schools.  VIOLATION

 

 

I stated in a comment that if one took Newark Charter and Wilmington Charter and put them back under Christina’s watch and care, they would have the highest scores in the state….

I now want to test that hypothesis to see how correct that statement was…

Here is the data we used.

Newark Charter has 2140 students.
Charter School of Wilmington has 972 students.

The entire Christina District lists 15,553.

Average Proficiency Scores for Newark Charter in ELA were 95%.. (That means 95% were tested as proficient.)

(Rats! No data) For now will have to fake Wilmington Charters’. Tack in with 99%, they’re smarter than Newark.

Christina District averaged at 39%.

So to figure the cumulative weighted theoretical for all combined, our equation would look something like this…..
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15553 (39) + 2140 (95) + 972 (99)   =   X/ (15553+2140+972) or X/18635 = Average Score

606567  +  203330  +  96228  =  906125/18635  =   48.62

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48.62 would be Christina School Districts cumulative ELA score if there were no charters to siphon of top students and the district was then tested as a whole….  How does that compare?

It would be statistically tied with 7 other schools for spot 9 ….. (courtesy of Exceptional Delaware)

District Scores SBAC 2016

Those others which would be tied with Christina would be Capital, Colonial, Seaford, Woodbridge, Milford, and Red Clay (hmmm. which would drop lower by losing Wilm Charter.).

None of which give away the bulk of their top students as does Christina…. 

When people (some think Dave Sokola is an alien; just ask Sigourney Weaver) scoff and say Christina is failing as a district and that these charters are there only because the public schools can’t teach a bag of beans, it would be very appropriate to remind them that 1) beans are inanimate and have no brains, and 2) it is only because Christina has to give up its top students to charters, that it scores average so low in comparison.  In other words it is doing as well as both of the other inner city districts (Red Clay and Colonial) as well as the poorer districts down south.  It is definitely not failing as a district.

This is like blaming someone for running a slow race after you cut off their leg… Sew the leg back on, and there is NO problem…

This again, is one more piece of daily mounting evidence as to why Delaware needs to remove Charter Schools from the entire state’s education system  The whole “education is failing scenario” has been a gross misrepresentation.  All they did as to just move smart people around to raise some schools scores, and lower others, that’s all.

“Let’s take those smart one and put them here… and lets leave the impoverished ones right there…”

Then,

“Holy Crayola!!! Look how bad this district is doing!!!… such low scores!!!.  We have to take it over (and put our friends in to run each school at $160,000 a pop..)!!!”

 

 

giphy1

Crime is relative. Stealing land from native Americans was not a crime. Exhorting registered Delawarean businesses to pay back interest on unclaimed property that didn’t exist, was not a crime.

So this guy walks onto a subway car with a friend and there were 4 other late night riders on board…

He pulls a gun and robs the 4 passengers between stops. Then he give the money to his friend and runs….

As his friend goes up the escalator, a cop grabs him at the top and makes an arrest. The friend says, I did nothing wrong, Sir, someone just gave it to me…..

Moral of story.

The four passengers represent students in public school.
The friend represents charter schools.
The gun belongs to the STATE….

Did a crime happen or no? Parents with students in Newark Charter, want you think no crime happened here. In the lottery of life, someone just gave them money. People in the DOE want you to think no crime happened here. Dave Sokola, Earl Jaques, and Jack Markell want you to think no crime happened here…

So how do four passengers have all their stuff unloaded off of them, and everyone says no crime occurs?

Because all crime is relative…..

Delaware is very amateurish when it comes to smearing people.  No one takes smears seriously anymore and the consequences usually fall back on those pushing the smear forward.

Kathleen Davies works for Tom Wagner’s Auditor’s office.  She supports better control of charter school wastefulness and has been behind some of the very scary reports the Auditor of Delaware’s office has recently released, showing the blatant corruption and disregard for all taxpayers dollars, an illness that continues to run rampant throughout Kendall Massett’s charter school conglomeration…

We find she was put on administrative leave and her reports pulled from the website… Kevin has a copy of one (more?) of the pulled reports…

Her being put on administrative leave is very reminiscent of shutting down a casino because one is shocked, shocked, that legalized gambling is going on there…. 

 

Her alleged violation was “not following required procedure”.  Something we all do at work, usually for our own self interests, but in her case, she was doing it for both our state’s interests, the We, The People taxpayer’s interests……

Here is how it works.  If you work for the state in a high enough capacity,  you are given what amounts to a charge card which you use for state associated expenses.  If I’m required to go to Los Angeles to gather information on a national charter school network responsible for many of Delaware’s charter school accounting errors, and have to do so undercover, then I would use my card along the way and those expenses would be charged to the state and those who monitor whether expenses are spent wisely could immediately see that they were….

Charge cards are new.  The old way was to pay it from ones personal account and then be reimbursed back at some later time….  This was standard through most of our lives and is still allowable under law….

The charge is that Kathleen Davies used step 2  instead of step 1….

Now. Why would anyone working undercover to root out corruption of state funding not want to be immediately traced to the minute where they were or what they were doing? This action does not make sense to me… You see, if I was going to investigate something that was above the law, that required me to walk in and say I auditing your office today as required by law, show me your records…. I would WANT that office to know beforehand that I was enroute to their city, that I was staying overnight in a hotel close by, that I would be in early the next morning JUST SO THEY COULD WIPE OUT ALL INCRIMINATING DOCUMENTATION, DISPOSE OF ALL DAMAGING EVIDENCE, SCRUB ALL FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS, just to make my job so much easier…

“Well, all looks good, nothing wrong here… Keep up the good work.”

Why would any auditor want to hide where they were, when they were coming, or what they were up to?  I just can’t understand such thinking….

Btw, this standard procedure probably should be corrected and allowed specifically by future legislation because there are certain arms of our democracy that do need secrecy in order to accomplish their jobs, which primarily is to hold people who can’t be trusted, accountable….

If you don’t want advanced knowledge of your whereabouts, you had better not use your credit card. One should not be punished for helping the state catch hardened criminals (which Charter School operators under Kendall Massett are rapidly becoming)

Here is what happened……

A phone call:   I need Kathleen Davies fired today… Do it.

Auditor Tom Wagner:  But she’s a great investigative employee, one of the best we’ve ever had? How can I possibly fire her?

Phone call:   Find something, or else; anything you can, just take her down today…...

The only thing they could find on a squeaky clean employee was this legal but secondary method of reimbursement for state caused expenses…  The state would of course prefer the use of the credit card just so they could have instant knowledge of her whereabouts, and that she did not give them….

And so, she gets a surprise ongoing 2+ month paid vacation courtesy of the person who made that call to Tom’s office. There is no savings to the taxpayer in all of this. Instead we get continued corruption plus paying the expense of an auditor who is doing nothing for which she is being paid….

But they bumbled… They made it public thinking that the smear would simply go unnoticed and all would assume she was guilty as charged… Well, guess what?  It didn’t work… Because far from being corruptible like Dave Sokola, Charlie Copeland, and Earl Jaques, she is a fighter for Delaware’s taxpayers and particularly those too young to pay taxes, Delaware’s students….

(Corruption in Charter Schools is rampant (95%) because under their charters, they are given carte blanche to do anything they want; that hurts all students.)  Kathleen Davies was one undercover guardian  and benefactor of all little children in Delaware…

So realizing their mistake, they garnered the News Journal to do a piece to taint her further….  But the evidence present there is a joke….

Listen to this comic and misguided attempt to smear a courageous fighter for little children…

“At issue is about $7,700 in reimbursements Davies received over four years for expenses she attested were work-related, like hotel stays, meals and mileage while traveling on state assignments.”

4 years is (365.25 X 4) = 1461 days…. That averages out to $5. 27 cents a day.  Really? Dismissing a prime state investigative employee for $5.27 cents a day done in reimbursement form instead of credit cards?  (The reality being that Delaware on average spends  $10,958,904 every single day (compared to $5.27)… They laid her off so it would then only spend $10,987,899 each day….

Which brings up a valid point.  Why do we have two state employees (now whistle-blowers) costing us each $68,987 a year, spending inordinate amounts of time looking over $5.27 cents average-per-day forms to find if something, if anything  is wrong?  Was it for the benefit of all Delaware’s citizens for which they searched for that averaged $5.27 cents in error?  Or was it under someones orders to find something, anything, that made them dig through $5.27 cents a day to paint a dirty picture?

Laughable?  OF COURSE.  Bumbling?  OF COURSE.

Just curious if we read this the same way.  Does this following sound like a smear to you, exactly the way the News Journal painted it?

“$517.54 for an out-of-state hotel stay and $25.50 for out-of-state meals. In December 2013, she was paid $558.28 for several categories of expense, including private car mileage, travel both within and out of Delaware, and meals. Then, after a break of several months, Davies was reimbursed $260 in May 2014 and $586 in June 2014.”

Oh My Goodness… Such Graft!  Such Corruption!  So much money being profligated!

But is it?  In a city, rooms cost $150 on the cheap (hooker prices) but one should expect to pay $250 to be deemed respectable. That amount quoted would be 3 days on the cheap, and 2 days at normal.  I must assume meals were included because I’m outraged I just spent $29.42 in one drive-thru visit buying cheap-ass McDonald‘s for just 5 people in my car…. Private car mileage reimbursement at close to the IRS figure is .445 cents per mile… In a normal day’s drive I’d be paid $44.50 each day… a day trip to DC would be $106; a day trip to NYC would be $89.00.  Throw in parking, meals, you are talking only about a 2 or 3 commuted day stints across a year, done quite frugally.

Math completely vindicates her… there is no crime here!  So why is she laid off?

Her testimony  before the House Educational Committee KILLED future Charter School development in this state, the pet project of Dave Sokola, Senator from the 8th District… Totally killed it. Zero. Nada… Today’s Private Charter Schools in Delaware are gasping their last breaths.. and no more will be built. Only  those school district-run Charter Schools such as in Red Clay’s district or Newark’s WHITE ONLY Charter School, have any hope of surviving past the next governorship….

She told the truth and for that ….. her boss got the dreaded phone call…. (see above)…

Directly lifted from the News Journal is all the evidence required to vindicate her… She is innocent of all charges and with a good guess we can conclude she was removed solely to stop her from digging further into Charter School malfeasance whose scope is so large, it is currently beyond Delaware taxpayer’s ability to imagine it…..

Bottom line: here is how to help her….. If you want change, this is how you begin it…

Support Dave Sokola’s opponent, Meredith Chapman, this election cycle in the 8th Senatorial District… It means voting for a Republican but unlike her opponent, that Republican is a good honest decent person…

Or if you don’t really care about auditors, charter schools, skull drudgery, but do care about Delaware overall, this is the one state legislative campaign you will need to watch closely…. and if you live in upper Newark, you need to vote to unseat your incumbent!

The evil leeching out of Delaware’s 8th Senatorial District has been oozing long enough….. It needs plugged.

 

Remember this.

As you view the results posted saying how Common Core has improved our teaching over the past year between the first taking and second taking of the tests…. these tests are graded on a curve…

Math 2016

ELA 2016

One cannot compare one year’s test to another because the curve is set each new year to show a different result..

In plain language, this means the level of proficiency is NOT set by the number of right answers…. but is set by how your right number of answers compare to everyone else…

I have seen nothing regarding the cut scores setting remaining consistent between 2015 and 2016. Being changed by the committee overseeing them,  results in better scores (although we can see they were not set much better)…

This was predicted when we first debated Common Core and the Smarter Balanced. It has now come to pass.

Secondly.

If this overall program were working, we should have seen far greater positive results than what we did. There are political reasons as well as financial reasons for this slow improvement… (If you show too much improvement too fast, no one will invest to gain greater improvement..)

Showing one or two percentages of people doing better is not glowing results. Not after two full years of teaching to the test…

The real result is how these same children will do on the next NAEP, the nation’s report card. Overall in both Delaware and the nation, ever since Common Core was affected, those scores (which since the 80’s had always climbed), have gone down…

If you brag about increased Smarter Scores, yet your real report card score goes down, you are no better than those teachers denigrated as passing people into the next grade who failed to meet the expectation…

In conclusion, all of this is completely meaningless. The scores show us nothing for they are arbitrarily made up. The tests show us nothing because they too are made up. The grading shows us nothing because it is made up… Only the NAEP shows us anything now, because it is a test not curved which has been consistent for years… If it shows improvement then this program is indeed working; if it doesn’t, then we need to pull the plug and return to what once worked so well.

What we DO have (since these tests do not show us anything) is a big waste of money… Make that a huge waste of money…. Money that could have been spent on???

Something like an 11:1 student teacher ratio in all schools over 50% poverty levels….

So do not be persuaded by appeals that improvement is at hand.. For the data included has some rather darkening and troubling implications… The Science and Social Studies DCAS scores have dropped consistently since Common Core was invented and put into practice…

Our Delaware kids ARE becoming dumber and dumber..Our solitary focus on math and ENGLISH has eclipsed time for civics and science. Everyone knows how to understand and speak English, even if they don’t know what an indecent participle is. But science and social studies are the determiner of an ignorant society or a knowledgeable one.. Delaware is becoming more and more ignorant the more we embrace Common Core… readily seen because those two scores are not arbitrarily set on a curve; they are based on the number of right and wrong answers. More Delawareans are getting the answers wrong consistently every year since Common Core was enacted.

So let’s grade Markell’s administration….

Our English(reading) scores have gone down over his administrations (due to test change).
Our Math scores have gone down over his administration (due to test change).
Our Social Studies scores have gone down over his administration.
Our Science scores have gone down over his administration….
Our NAEP scores have gone down over his administration….

How can that be called a success?