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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…..

 

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Please Riot Here

When riots happen in Wilmington, which i’m sure they will, I hope they will learn from Ferguson Missouri’s mistake.

That mistake is to riot in your own neighborhood… That is just plain silly. Did we attack ourselves when the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor? Or did we wage war with Japan?

Why people would loot and burn in their own neighborhood, is beyond me. I write this now, so when the opportunity to riot does occur, those with above average intelligence will have a plan to move the crowd out of their impoverished neighborhood, and instead riot in neighborhoods where the a) the loot is much better, and b) those responsible for the policy that has kept you down since Clinton left office, are directly affected. If you are going to riot, you should do in on the enemies home turf. Republican Country.

A riot has a purpose. It is to change things. To make things better by creating a situation that is worse than doing nothing, therefore something has to be done. Blacks didn’t protest on the back seat of the bus. They sat in the white section. Black students didn’t do their sit-in at the black counter. They did it at the white. Black students didn’t march into Tuskegee Institute with the National Guard. They marched into the all white University of Alabama. Martin Luther King didn’t do his marches within all black neighborhoods. He marched across the bridge into downtown white Selma….

So battling police in your own neighborhood, looting your own corner store, burning out yours and your neighbor’s houses, kind of double hurts you. Not only are you being oppressed by Republican Policies, but you are also setting those who support you, back even more….

So I’m writing this to tell you where to protest so it will do you some good.

It is called Westover Hills. There aren’t many people living there, but those that do are rich and very old and feeble. They couldn’t stop a crowd breaking into their house if they tried. Plus, when you loot, you could actually get something you could sell. Whose going to buy all the banana flavored Laffy Taffy you stole from the corner market? But you could easily swipe a Bose Stereo, or maybe find a safe with a couple of hundred thousand in it.

And instead of hurting mom and pop, or Uncle Joe and Aunt Alice, you would be hurting those whose money is directly responsible for you not having a good job, a good house, a good future. Those in Westover Hills vote Republican and it is Republicans who have allowed all the money to go to the top 1%… and none to you…

If you remember the Clinton Democratic years, it was different. You, or your mom and dad, did get richer every year and if that had only continued, you would have been doing rather well by now. But you got lazy and enough of you didn’t vote for Democrats in 2000 and now, we are stuck with the rich getting richer, and you and your neighbors, getting poorer…

So take the number 20 bus from 10th and Market side of Rodney Square and in 8 minutes and 15 stops later, you will be just north of the riot zone. Do your peaceful protests there, in the middle of the streets, and shout how Republicans have ruined everyone’s lives but those of themselves… When the riot police arrive with their single tank and tear gas, make them fire it at you so all those rich billionaires have to breath it too. Then when all hell breaks loose, break into the houses and rob yourselves silly. Don’t even worry. Unlike those corner stores, everything you take here is fully insured… Destroying their property, will in days, put all Delaware’s construction workers back to work. These guys are rich. They don’t dilly-dally around.

The main point is this? When you riot in your own neighborhoods which these Republicans never venture into, it only serves to reinforce their notion of you as a sub-human race. “Look at those pathetic people”, they will say over their Maker’s Mark and Hennessey, “they’re tearing up their own neighborhood. Maybe we should keep them doing it so they move and haul their sorry asses elsewhere.”

They will not be in any hurry to lift one finger… “make them suffer more” will be their outcry. But … if you do it in THEIR neighborhood, they will at least wonder why? In their asking around, what’s the real cause of these people rioting, they will come to the conclusion that they, with all the money, need to invest more, need to hire more, need to pay more, and that if they had previously invested more in our people, this riot would never have happened. That is your key… Getting them to call their out-of-pocket legislators and say, “raise my taxes; we can’t afford any more riots like these, even if we are insured. It’s the third time this year. I’m too tired for another round of tax free shopping!”…

You can even walk there. So forget the bus. Just send the coordinates out on social media, and anyone with a phone app can get there…. It is pointless for you to have to bear the cost and trauma of what THEY caused. It makes such great sense for them to bear that cost, and after doing so, quickly create the changes you need to pull yourselves out of poverty…

So pastors and neighborhood watch leaders. Start talking your kids to riot in Westover Hills, instead of your own street. Isn’t it about time, the real criminals get to feel the heat?

They are the ones who put you there…. Make THEM pay, not those who are poor like you. And pick up something nice for me while you are there… A nice oriental carpet would be cool… blue and white if you find one.

Lynchings still take place. Chip Flowers is stepping down. It is time to consider his legacy, and boy, what a great legacy it was…

Chip Flowers is the first and only treasurer to take on the Cash Management Board, a select group of appointees who can get their position by donating large amounts of cash to the successful Governor candidates, even when one has a record for making investments on the fly without informing the investors trusting you with their money, of your personal conflict of interest against making money for them. Even if you were fined and had to pay over $976,000 for your illegal activity?

David Marvin of the Cash Management Board did just that. Paid $976,980 in a fine to the SEC. Through his generous PAC donation to Jack Markell, he now sits on the Cash Management Board, and who knows what conflict of interests are in play with Delaware’s Treasury’s monies?

Do you know? Don’t you think we should at least find out? Why then is it against the law for the public to even find out what their conflicts of interests are?

Before anyone diminishes Chip Flowers’ achievement, let us remember the legacies left by those former Treasurers, including our current Governor, Jack Markell..

If you remember, the legacy he touted when running for governor, was that he computerized the Treasury Department. Hell, the entire government was computerized during the 2000’s, as well as the entire corporate world. Former Treasure Markell’s legacy was nothing more than being in the Treasurer’s office at the right time when computers came into being…

Prior to that, former treasure Rzewnicki. Her legacy was her attempt to bash Carper with a domestic abuse case. That is her lasting memory.

And before that, Tom Carper. lucklily happened to be in when Pete Dupont rewired Delaware’s laws and investment environment. Delaware was able to increase the rating of its bonds, but it wasn’t done as a result of decisions made in the Treasury. The decisions were made by the General Assembly and put into practice by Pete duPont.

So when it comes to legacies, the Treasury department by the very low level of duties alloted to it, is hard to make a lasting legacy. But that is what has been done by Flowers. We had an engaged treasurer, who actually made many of our sleep-walking members of the Delaware General Assembly aware there even was even a Cash Management board… There must be something very wrong with having a former guilty procedure breaker, handling the monies of the state in ways no one knows, and who is protected against anyone finding out.

That we know this, will be how the future views Chip’s legacy. This is huge.

Reflecting upon today’s news, it is best that he step down. It is unlikely that any second term could do more to add to what he has accomplished. It is best to “get-‘er-done” and move one, and not let the dilution process that naturally happens when one is in office too long, to occur on one’s second shift minimizing ones accomplishments and action.

At least now for the future, when anyone says “Chip Flowers”, we will always have the image of Delaware’s First Black Treasurer, who ran on the platform that it was the “People’s Treasury”, and was the first treasurer to ever do anything to return the Treasury back to the people whose money it handles. He and all of Delaware can be proud of that.

I agree with his decision. It is smart to move on and it is now up to us, “We, The People”, to arrest and hang the lyncher. David Marvin needs to be pulled off the board, even if it takes a bill originating in the General Assembly, and all the state gets to watch the next Speaker of the House twist in the wind between either supporting his “boss”, or all those thousands of citizens who voted him into office. Secondly, we need to know who and how this sickness ever got so close to Delaware’s people’s Treasury….

Ericka in today’s world, is a distraction. The real problem has always been that crook who was fined over $976,000 and now sits, at the discretion of the governor, where he can pass his hands through the state’s money at will… and no one is even allowed to look over his shoulder.

We need to know why he is still there….

Although support for the TDC power plant may look like a chance to support jobs, the reality it that it is an environmental disaster.

When you support a disaster, you eventually lose….

Labor Unions will lose public support if this TDC center goes through….   Withholding the environmental dangers from the public may work short term and get approval, …

But once built, and when ash particles the size of golf-balls begin to fall on Newark, Stanton, Elsmere, Wilmington and Claymont, the public will ask,,, how on earth could this have been approved?

The truth will come out at that point, that bad people sneaked it through using bad ways…..

You will eventually lose prevailing wage if this TDC goes through…. The public will turn on you.  I almost turned on you before I calmed down. Economics are a strong suit. But one’s life trumps economics.  The environmental consequences of this TDC are gigantic.  Everyone who gets cancer will blame you…  Anything they can do to hurt you will become their dying wish, if you know what I mean….

What to do….

  • Support a data center without a power plant.
  • Support building a data center in a rural area close by so we get the same jobs… 20 miles into Cecil County or east of Middletown would do the trick.
  • Support something else being built on the same location…. One that has no environmental impact.

Putting your loyalty and support behind the Data Center, is like putting your loyalty and support behind a candidate who unknown to you committed child abuse 25 years ago…  At some future point, you lose all your investment…… and are left to fight a defensive war to keep more from being taken away by business groups…..

You did not know this would turn on you.  But it has, and will get worse….   Now is the time to sneak out of the back of the crowd while no one is really looking or counting…..

Signed:  Your most ardent supporter.

K

 

Of course it could never happen, however, the publicity surrounding this event could educate even more people about what Common Core is about.  How in reality, it is rather demonic compared to the angelic rendition given by various governors and secretaries of education….

Parents, who have undergone Common Core and seen its damaging effects in their children, should take note…..

you can actually do something about it……

Sign the White House petition for Arne’s removal…..

A symbolic move?  In reality yes.  But one that moves us in the right, not wrong direction….   in 48 hours with no publicity, it only has 97% of the way left to go before it meets the threshold of being addressed….

Please register your dissatisfaction with any of the following problems regarding Common Core:

  • Like calling white suburban moms stupid
  • Like failing 70% of New York State’s children and calling them stupid.
  • Like dropping  30-40% of Kentucky’s children below proficiency and then calling them stupid.
  • Like calling all those parents who oppose Common Core, Tea Partiers and insinuating they are all stupid.
  • Like calling the state governments of Oklahoma, and Georgia, who are considering opting out of Common Core, stupid.
  • Like calling all those states not up to par with Common Core standards, stupid….
  • Like calling all those teaching Common Core, who insist it is damaging to children’s development, stupid…..

Anyone else see a trend here?

You can do something … Please sign the petition here, and at least do something to slow down the runaway freight train, currently known as Common Core.

“we petition the Obama administration to:
Remove Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan consistently and flagrantly disregards the concerns of the parents and teachers of America’s schoolchildren. He dismisses their concerns in favor of corporate interests. In his recent comments to the Council of Chief State Schools Officers, he said, “It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were.” This clearly demonstrates the complete lack of understanding he has and his utter contempt for the American people. He is both unqualified and unfit to lead the Department of Education and should be removed immediately.”

Click on the blue and make a difference for every child in America…..

Pushing the data of the Moody’s Analytics regarding Delaware being the only bad risk in the country, some other illuminating factors emerge.  The revenue data taken from our tax receipts over the past two years, portends to ever decreasing departmental budgets state wide in 2013 and 2014.

This problem will be compounded further, by this fourth quarter competing with the largess of last fourth quarter.  If you remember, incomes were very high in December 2012, as a lot of capital gains were cashed in to beat the tax increase beginning in 2013.  There was a huge flood of tax revenue that pushed up estimates, both in personal and corporate income taxes.  The December revenue was 23.3% higher than December 2011.

That largess won’t be coming in this year and we will have to deal with the difference.

Second, due to impingements to our economy, our tax revenue will be under last year.

Delaware employment is growing slowly.  Yet there are only 18 states with a total unemployment (U6) higher.  As a result, personal income tax revenue is down.  This was compounded by a tax decrease recently given to the top 1% of earners. Passage of this tax rate decrease, means those who were the only people actually gaining income, will now, not be paying any of their increases into the treasury, as is being required of everyone else.

Across the nation, total state tax revenues first quarter 2013 rose 6.8%.  Across the nation state income taxes grew 18.4%, state corporate taxes grew 9.4%, and state sales taxes grew 5.5%  ….  Delaware does not have a sales tax.

Only 6 states had declines in personal income tax that same quarter.  Delaware led the pack as having the largest decline at 15.8%. States less shy about raising taxes, California and New York had the highest gains.  $6.3 billion and $1 billion respectively.  Incidentally as correctly predicted by the kavips economic model, both economies are thriving.

Based on withholding data, Delaware’s amount withheld dropped from a 9.3% increase in last quarter 2012, to a 2.0 increase in first quarter 2013, both over the previous year.  At the outset, the potential exists for a loss of that 7.3% difference in fourth quarter 2013.

The wealthy pay in the form of estimated payments.  They don’t use withholding.  The average estimated payment’s percentage increase over 2012, was 12.2%.  However the 4th quarter payment was a jump of 23.3% over the fourth quarter of the previous year.  Meaning the average of the previous 3 quarters was a negative or -3.7% from the year 2011.  Only that windfall of the fourth quarter, driven primarily by federal tax changes, gave Delaware its positive increase in estimated payments for 2012. Bottom line.  We were lucky. First quarter 2013, they are up 7.9% in comparison.

Corporate tax.  Overall across the nation, corporate tax increased by 9,4% this first quarter of 2013 over the same quarter last year. 30 out of the 46 states that have corporate income taxes showed increases. 16 of them were double digit increases.  Virginia suffered the largest decline: $87 million.  New York showed the biggest gain:  $239 million.

Tax Revenue is directly related to economic growth.  Growing economies increase personal income taxes and sales taxes as income gets spent. Delaware’s economy is estimated by the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia for the three months prior to June 2013, to lie between the growth rates of 0.1% and 0.5%.

Take the first quarter of 2013.  It is a harbinger of things to come….  In Delaware, the amounts collected Jan-March.

  • Personal income tax:  2012 = $411 million   2013 = $346 million …. drop of $65 million or -15.8%
  • Corporate income tax: 2012 = $65 million    2013 = $73 million …. increase of $8 million or 12.3%
  • Total with other (fees) included:  2012 = $956 million  2013= $883 million…. drop of $73 million or -7.6%….

Our current state budget is running $73 million in the red based on actual versus revenue projections.  And this does not even include the fourth quarter drop off. Delaware was one of only 5 states capturing less personal income taxes in 2013’s first quarter than in 2012. Rhode Island, Indiana, Utah, West Virginia were its team mates. Delaware lost $65 million (-15.8%); West Virginia was second losing a comparative paltry $21 million. or -5.4%.  The others:  Rhode Island -$13 million (-6.4%); Indiana -$5 million (0.5%); Utah -3 million (0.6%)

It was estimated that over the year Delaware’s tax decrease would cost the state $70-80 million.  if averaged per quarter, that would be $17 to $20 million lost to the state every 65 working days.

One would conclude that a big part of Delaware’s state revenue problem is a direct result of that tax break we handed over to the top percent of Delawareans…. There are 15 states with higher top marginal tax rates than Delaware.  All but one of them (Idaho) are showing better growth than Delaware.  The belief that lower taxes creates jobs and better state economies does not agree with reality experienced by other states on a daily basis.

Again, the national economy as a whole is looking better.  Delaware is looking like the exception.  After the Great Recession the national total of state revenues dropped for 5 consecutive quarters. The national total of all state’s revenues has since grown 13 consecutive quarters…

The same criticism that applied to Obama after the Obamacare vote, applies now to Markell after the SB 165 vote.  Instead of trying to fix something that was working fine, one’s attention should have been spent on all that which isn’t (working fine)….

Recommendations for 2014:

Go to multiple tiered tax rates:

  • 10% on $1 million or more
  • 9% on $500,000 or more
  • 8% on $250,000 or more
  • 7% on $125,000 or more
  • 6.75% on $60,000 or more
  • Spend most of our money on Delaware’s people.  Hire empty positions. Keep the money here in state as much as possible.
  • Cut out from budget most consulting fees for out-of-state entities.
  • No hiring of outside specialists or corporate buddies.
  • Add more teachers, firemen, policemen where needed.
  • Push for building an offshore wind farm; override all Pepco’s objections.

This will get lost in 9/11 memories and Syrian controversy.. It is a shame. For in all that madness created by the Obama drones (forever now imprinted by the John Stewart’s Daily Show), this is one true gem of news…

Allowing non union workers to win benefits achieved by the union members in collective bargaining agreements, violates Indiana’s law which requires, no, mandates that compensation must be made for services rendered.

Because the non union employees were getting compensated without paying union dues to the union that won that benefit for them, that clause of the Indiana State Constitution was being violated.

Indiana is a Republican state. This was a Republican court. They even used a basic tenant of Republican philosophy, eliminate Welfare, to come to this decision.

In their eyes, there is no difference within a “right to work” state, between non union workers sitting back on their asses, drinking beer and watching TV on someone else’s effort…. and Welfare Queens, sitting back on their asses, drinking beer and watching TV on someone else’s effort.

Telling words ended their judgment….. “There is no court more loathe to declare an Indiana statute unconstitutional than this one”

“The court has no choice but find the Right To Work Laws violate the Indiana Constitution…”

ALEC’s Right To Work law has suffered defeat… Time to step up pressure in ALL states.

Every bill in the General Assembly involving money must have a fiscal note attached describing its cost.  Since these never make it into political fodder, this is where things better of hidden, are voted on unseen… One can learn a lot by looking at the fiscal bills

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147th GENERAL ASSEMBLY

FISCAL NOTE

Bill: HOUSE BILL NO. 165

sponsor: Representative Jaques

DESCRIPTION: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EDUCATION AND CHARTER SCHOOLS.

ASSUMPTIONS:

1. This Act is effective July 1, 2013.

2. This Act will fund minor capital improvements at the same level as Vocational Technical School Districts whereby the state will provide 100 percent of funding for minor capital improvements versus the current formula of 60 percent of funding.

3. The proposed level of funding for minor capital improvements for charter schools included in the Fiscal Year 2014 Governor’s Recommended Capital Budget updated for current school year enrollment is $528,597. This amount represents 60 percent of funding for minor capital improvements. This Act will increase the proposed level of funding to $880,454, an impact of $351,857 as it represents 100 percent of funding for charter school minor capital improvements. These estimates do not include Pencader Charter School as it is scheduled to close at the end of the current school year.

4. This Act also establishes a Charter School Performance Fund that is subject to an appropriation and shall not exceed $5.0 million annually. The Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Act, as written by the Joint Finance Committee, includes an appropriation of $2.0 million for the Charter School Performance Fund pending the passage of this Act.

5. The Charter School Performance Fund is to be administered by the Department of Education through an application process focusing on an applicant’s performance, supplemental non-state sources of funding, plans for start-up or expansion, and service to high-need students, as defined by the Department of Education.

Cost:

Fiscal Year 2014: $351,857 for minor capital improvements

Indeterminable for the Charter School Performance Fund as it is subject to available appropriation ($2.0 million is included in the FY 2014 Budget)

Fiscal Year 2015: $351,857 for minor capital improvements

Indeterminable for the Charter School Performance Fund as it is subject to available appropriation.

Fiscal Year 2016: $351,857 for minor capital improvements

Indeterminable for the Charter School Performance Fund as it is subject to available appropriation.

Office of Controller General (Amounts are shown in whole dollars)

June 03, 2013

MJ:MJ

0271470011

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Fiscal Conservatives should be up in arms because the if this bill passes, the amounts for The Charter Performance fund are undetermined as of yet.  It will bust the budget by $3 million dollars!  THAT’S  THREE  TIMES  MORE  THAN  THE  PORT  OF  WILMINGTON   IS PUTTING  US  IN  THE  RED   EACH  YEAR !!!!!!!!!!!

The sky IS  falling.

Remember Sweeney?  That character who was lampooned across the nation for his nonfactual support of Kinder-Morgan’s taking over our port?   Instead of being objective, his editorial board pieces are that of a pinch hitter for an administration again caught on the wrong side of an issue!  Remember the jokes? The aside comments that he has lost his touch?  Remember all the snide references that he must be on crack?

It is to those references (sincerely I doubt he does crack) and the acknowledgement that in popular culture today that phrase is often applied to everyone who tries to reform facts into a fairy tales, that I attached his name to it in the title…

In Sweeney’s defense through the manipulation of language, one can say anything.  Granted.  Romney certainly tried that tact. And the truth came out to hurt him.  “Jeeps in China”, my ass. “Benghazi was all Obama’s fault”, my ass.

So as old as Sweeney is, (he seems to mean well ), the facts he uses are simply not true…  If you put bad in, you get bad out.  Now if I were an aged,old authority figure, and if you were deemed childlikely to accept what I say is true, … I can tell you about a jovial man living at the North Pole, who has nine reindeer that fly and travels the world in one night delivering presents to every boy and girl in the world,… and of course you are going to look up at me with wide big eyes and go “wow, so that is how its done…”.

Alas, poor Sweeney, he doesn’t have the same beguiling audience.  Instead we have facts that show the opposite….

One of the facts WE the People have, is that the tests results coming from districts using this plan that show great results, were all obtained through cheating by high officials changing the answers over to correct ones after the students had taken them.

Two:  teachers under this system are spending too much time explaining to their superiors everything they do in order to be evaluated,  instead of teaching.  More time is spent in evaluation, than on lesson plans.  This hurts teacher. This hurts student.

Three: the curriculum being forced upon these classrooms is far inferior to what teachers themselves are able to dole out.  Education only works when a student’s interest is held.   These corporate templates are as interesting as your corporate financial  meetings.  Teachers do a much better job.

Four: low income students don’t have technology the rest of us take for granted.  Broadband costs money. Computer power costs money. Software costs money. Laptops cost money. Notebooks cost money.  The best way to raise low income students scores is to put them on par with students who have technology.  You can’t just tell someone how to log in and expect them to remember it whenever they next  see a computer.  They have to do so to learn how.

Five.  Testing at the beginning, the middle, and the end, is a great tool.  It evaluates a student’s progress over time.  BUT!  Holding a teachers job accountable to results over which they have absolutely no control, means…  a) all teaching by that teacher is geared to only what will be on that test… and b) since poor scores demand the loss of one’s livelihood,  rampant cheating is bound to occur…. We saw this in Atlanta, Texas, and DC.

Six.  The only proven and effective way to improve teaching, is to increase the number of teachers so there are 11 students per teacher.  Teaching is a personal science, like counseling, psychology, and doctor’s visits.  Without a personal relationship between teacher and student, there is no incentive to learn.  Studies as well as our personal experience, show that if we aren’t psyched to learn, we don’t….

Seven.  The students who do the poorest are the ones who have the largest social dishevel in their lives.  A person from this background can learn from a teacher just as easily as anyone else, if he believes the teacher is pulling for them, and they don’t want to let that teacher or their peers down.  That can and does  happen with a 11-1 ratio…

Eight.  Teachers DO NOT GO  into teaching to get rich.  They go to help children learn.  If you don’t know this, you have no human right to ever write another editorial on education.  That is just plain stupid not to know.  If you want to motivate teachers, the best way is to give them MORE resources with which to teach….  More maps, more books, more software, anything to provide more excitement to their classrooms.

Nine.  We all incorporate what we learn, into the categories we already have inside our heads.  Being an inner city child with no mother (on crack), no father (never knew him), living with grandma (forgets who I am sometimes), dodging getting beaten up by the drug lords every time you walk home from the bus to porch (its safe in the morning; they’re still asleep), disappearing when the molesting uncles happen to drop by, … reading about Sally having to choose between buying a candy bar or putting  all her cents into a piggy bank, doesn’t cut it.  You’d think Goldman-Sachs created the curriculum (they paid for it)…

Enough background…..  At least you know Sweeney is on metaphorical crack  just like he was with Kinder Morgan. (Panama Canal ships sailing up the Delaware, Sheesh)….

The heart of the matter lies in the News Journal’s phrase….Teachers that have earned highly-qualified credentials..

One would think that having a master’s degree or a doctor’s degree in education would qualify…  But no. Mr. Sweeney, it does not.  Mind if  WE, the People interrupt for a second to ask  if you happen to have a masters degree?  A doctor’s degree?  Is it in education?  No?  So, tell us again,  what makes you such an expert can we ask?  We, the People are dying to know.

Now get this.  To be one of these  “teachers that have earned highly-qualified credentials”  you have to first have attended a corporate seminar, one from a pandering company to which the state paid $180 dollars a person; you have to sit through 6 hours of power-point presentations; your  know-it-all instructor was just hired out of college by this corporation, and they proceed to tell you everything ever known about teaching without ever having been in a classroom. After this, you then take a test, having been given the answers ahead of time by clues of where the instructor casually says “this will be on the test”, and then, if you passed, you get a certificate saying you are a teacher with highly-qualified credentials.  Just like that.   You are now a highly qualified credential teacher; so who needs a masters, who needs a doctorate, who needs to read a stinkin’ Gannett publication? You got all the knowledge anyone ever needs to know.  You got a certificate that cost the state $180 dollars!….  You are now, eligible for a bonus… (if we (the DOE)  like you enough we choose to give it to you…

So if there are 8640 public school teachers in Delaware, at a cost of $180 per teacher, over time this company that originated out of nowhere, helps itself to $1.5 million dollars of our annual budget…   Now, not counting for the printing I can buy 8,000 sheets of  8 X 11  pieces of  24 lb. paper for around $71 dollars at Wal*Mart.  It would only take 20 sheafs of printer paper.   So to dole out $71-80 worth of pieces of paper printed with the words “Congratulations, You Are Certified“, our state is investing $1.5 million of your dollars… Why?  Can you say umm … kickback?  Personal favor?  Thanks for all you did back then?

In case one hasn’t been paying attention to the educational field, one would know that in the Christina district primarily due to our economy there are very few vacancies open from year to year.  One would also know, that in the  Christina district we have really good teachers practically in every classroom, who do better than the job that is expected except when they have to pull themselves away to do RTTT paperwork and explain to their evaluators how they are reinventing the wheel of teaching, or are on a pilot program teaching the Common Core agenda and cannot deviate.

So the Christina Board says this is ridiculous.  The Christina Board recognizes that teachers with a lifetime of experience, with masters and doctors degrees, know more about education then some punk out of college who passes the corporate litmus test.  After all, one would think, right?

The DSEA representing ALL THE TEACHERS IN DELAWARE,  and the Christina Education Association are fully backing the Christina Board on this.  As stated, teachers primarily want to teach.  This state program is very, very bad for teaching….  Although Mr. Sweeney might think otherwise, what teachers think, matters.  Especially if they are the ones teaching our kids.

Teachers are our most valuable resource as a society.  They are more important than our President.  They are more important than our Governor.  They are more important than any Mark Murphy or Lillian Lowery.  They are more important than the head of Goldman Sachs.  What?  You scoff?

Tell me, Mr. Sweeney?  When you look in the mirror in the morning… what president do you thank for making you who you are?   “Aww… Richard Nixon… Thank you so much for your leadership which was soooo inspiring, it made want to be like you…. I’m eternally grateful for all you did to inspire me, coach me, teach me, and give the the building blocks to make me as I am”   But sincerely, like all of us, I would damn well bet that somewhere in your growing up, there was one teacher or two, who is responsible for everything you’ve become.

In the book of We, the People … that teacher out ranks any governmental official…. any day…

I’ll close with an analogy to a story told long ago…  A woman was brought before Jesus accused of adultery.  They asked what should be done to her.  Jesus asked who was condemning her… knowing they too would be guilty of adultery if they admitted.  They left.  Jesus asked her, “who has condemned you?”  She looks around, and says ” no one Sir.”   “Then neither will I condemn you.  Arise, Go, and sin no more…”

It would be wise for Mr. Sweeney to remember this, before he goes writing his next editorial condemning the wrong people………..

So it appears the Markell administration was so confident they would sell off their port, they put no money into the budget to cover it….

The answer is rather simple. If you need $20 million a year, write a new tax that begins at levels over $1 million dollars and get the $20 million from them….

How hard is that?

or you could increase port fees a few cents per ton…

Then, ask Siemans who they would recommend as a consultant if you were interested in finding a European buyer for our port…..

Solved.