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Being a superintendent is not easy.  Many people think if you are the boss, you just tell people what to do and it gets done. Yet they never do all that their boss asks them to do?  So why would they think other people would act differently?

Being a superintendent or any boss really, means that for every decision you make, someone is going to fight you over it… You order vanilla; someone thinks it should be strawberry… You pay $80,000; someone thinks it should be $50,000.. and so on.

There is a very bad tendency to rate people on how well they are liked, and not on what they accomplish.   This is a giant American problem; not one found in just one district, of just one state….  No.  Measuring how someone is liked is good for movie stars because it translates into movie tickets… But measuring an executive for anything other than what he get done, is superficial… Often a brusque conversation can give great results. Amazing results.  But we hear only “how rude.”  The results coming from that “rude” moment never hit the radar.

As Americans with gadgets, we for the most part have become intellectually lazy.. When something pops upon our screen, we as if inside a video game, make a decision immediately and move on to the next one… In other words our internal world, a very dangerous place, is in the process of restructuring our physical world into its own self image…

We think Immigrants are rapist as stated by Donald Trump?  We never ever again challenge ourselves otherwise to see if it is true… It is. because we think it…

This is nothing short of psychosis.  Many of you growing up under the threat of LSD (what a joke) were warned of people thinking they could fly and throwing themselves off of buildings.  Or, my favorite, thinking the blue flame on the stove was a flower and sticking their nose into its heart to smell the nectar..  Those are blatant forms for psychosis, which in a very loose general definition, would probably mean steadfastly believing something inside your head is true because after all, it wouldn’t be in your head if it wasn’t true….

Lazy people never challenge themselves.

And that is what is happening to Dr. Freeman.  The phrase:  “I’m offended” should always be responded to with:  “Good, it’s about time someone told you the truth…”   Being offended is part of life.  It is like open carry. If everyone has their gun out in the open, no one is going to try to pull their gun out and shoot someone first.  If I offend you, it is because you are a douchebag… Pure and Simple.  You need being offended. On the other hand, if I feel offended, I seriously have to look and see if I am a douchebag, or if I play one on TV, or if the person making the claim has any ground to make such a claim.  And occasionally I’ll learn something new from that experience…

But for someone who is a douchebag, to respond to a true characterization of his personality with the words:  “I’m offended.” and then take action against the person speaking truth, as we did back when duels were fought over alleged breeches of honor, sets civilization backwards by centuries.

Even allowing dismissal over alleged slights or slants, creates stalemate and chaos.  For all one has to do to stop a very effective leader, is say they don’t like them… One doesn’t even need to say why… I don’t like him, and leave it at that, smears a very good person when all know the reason the person not liking him doesn’t like him, is because they want his spot.

If we would just make it a point of automatically firing the accused and the accuser every time there was a flash in the pan, instead of taking sides, flashes in the pan would cease to be an issue.  What’s the point of accusing for personal gain, if you lose big?

Now for those of you skimming, this article is not about Mr. Freeman or the Christina Board. They are being used theoretically to illustrate a bigger moral point.   Seriously, this is important stuff; you shouldn’t skim.

But when Christina needed a strong superintendent they got one in Dr. Freeman.  Him and the board became one against Governor Markell, against Race To The Top, against the buying of an school board election; against Common Core, against the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

When Hollodick folded.. Freeman did not… When Merv folded… Freeman did not.  When Appo folded… Freeman did not..

And that is his legacy.. The students come first… not as a political slogan spouted by Heffernan, Markell and Murphy. We can tell political slogans by the actions behind the words… When you say student come first but all your work is to bolster business takeover of publc schools, you cannot be taken seriously…

But when you say students come first, and you fight the business takeover of public schools, you are a man to be trusted…

And anytime one is removed for personality reasons… it is always, always, always, always, always, corporate behind it.. Forget that everyone loved him.  It takes just one person in today’s age where we only judge by how well like we are, to say they don’t like him, to overrule years of solid good works…

Good works last, long after Freeman is gone and some corporate douchebag is put in his place…

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just in from Education Excellence.

A Charter School with a failure rate and worse scores than the 6 priority schools being converted over to private control in Wilmington, was just awarded as a Blue Ribbon School

It is worse than these “terrible” schools in Wilmington….. but hey!….this school is now designated a Blue Ribbon School!

If “they”…. can possibly stretch the myth that Charter Schools can educate poor blacks while public schools can’t, maybe there will be hope for the Bank of America building full of inner city children after all!

It should be easy to distort the truth they must have assumed….. No one ever looks at a school’s scores?

“There is tremendous support for the priority plan”, said Delaware’s Secretary Mark Murphy.

  • It wasn’t at the press announcement, where all the political speakers qualified their statements afterwards.
  • It isn’t with the teachers inside the schools being prioritized.
  • It isn’t with parents whose children now have intense disruption over the next 4 years.
  • It isn’t with the School Boards that will have to undertake this MOU just when RTTT was done and they could begin their own focus.
  • It isn’t with the News Journal, who since being called out by Nancy and Connie has been more honest in its own pronouncements.
  • It isn’t with bus or other services who have contracts with each of these schools and now will undergo new negotiations with some new dickhead.
  • It isn’t with members of the General Assembly.

In fact…. there is absolute zero support for this initiative… Who are these mysterious shadowy people? What freaky world does Mark Murphy live in?

Said by Dr. Gary Thompson   There is considerable evidence of the significant effect that poverty has on neurobehavioral development. Primary among this evidence is the significantly higher prevalence of neurobehavioral disorders for individuals who suffer in poverty.

Data collected from the 1997-2008 National Health Interview Surveys (Boyle et al, 2011) found that family incomes below the federal poverty level were associated with higher levels of developmental disabilities, learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities.

Bergen (2008) identified protein-energy malnutrition, dietary micro-nutrient deficiencies, environmental toxins and lack of early sensory stimulation or the ability to profit from it as major reasons for why there are higher rates of neurobehavioral disorders among individuals living in poverty.

Noble, Houston, Kan & Sowell (2012) found significantly lower brain volume in the hippocampus and amygdala in children from lower-income households compared to children from higher-income households.

Wilber et al (2011) found that chronic stress associated with poverty can significantly impact on development of the prefrontal cortex. Rinaldi, Peroddin & Markram (2008) and Price (2006) found that the prefrontal cortex has been extensively implicated in explaining deficits in executive functioning, cognition, language, sociability and emotion.

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Poverty impacts learning by diminishing the size of the parts of the brain that learning needs… A small cup cannot hold as much as a big cup… The big cup is a child from affluent parents that has enjoyed every possible nutrient available..

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Education reformers think you can bypass all these physical realities, by simply setting expectations even higher.

“Oh, your brain is half the size of a Newark Charter student!… So tell you what, instead of doing 1st grade work in first grade, we are going to make you do 3rd and 4th grade work.. Higher expectations will make you smarter, you’ll see”

Instead of us applying resources to the real problem, we are making a show of diverting $250,000 a year to schemes that will have no impact at all, because all can see that the money is going to the absolute wrong place:  It is going towards setting expectations even higher, and not to helping those meet the expectations currently set.

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The focus for poverty children should not be on testing. The focus needs to switch over to making these people skilled enough to fit productively into society. With physical proof that portions of their brain are missing, it is obvious that the way to combat poverty in schools is to put everyone on their own IEP…

  • What this child needs is to be fed when out of school… Put that in the IEP
  • This child need to move to reside in a safe environment…. Put that in the IEP
  • This child is being abused; he needs protective services… Put that in the IEP.

IEP’s when done right, work. They are individual educational programs that apply those things needed (accommodations)  to fill out the person they are describing.

Instead of trying to standardize rich and poor people into one box, we need to pivot and go the exact opposite direction for these people with half brains.  We need to create accommodations for them, just as we do for those with half legs or half arms,

The biggest accommodation impacting all students would be a student teacher ratio in all schools over 50% low income of 11:1…..and tax the 1% who have way too much money to pay for it…

This is easily done but can’t be done if your leader fires all current teachers to replace them with TFA’s just so the bulk of the new money can go into the pocket of the “good old boy” hand-picked to become the “school leader”…

Remember how this administration threw money at Fisker?  At Bloom?  At Kinder Morgan?  At the Vlassic Pickle site? At the TDC? This is the same approach which will net the same results… After all we have tried it 5 times already!!!  Shouldn’t there be a stopping point?

Standardized tests are often used as a mechanism of social control. “If a decision-maker can point to the results of an objective and valid test as the information on which a control decision was based, those being controlled are more likely to accept and internalize the decision and its consequences.” Tests as a social control mechanism are “open to criticism in proportion to the extent to which those being controlled perceive it as irrational, capricious, arbitrary, or unjust” (Nitko 1983).

Previous legal challenges to the use of tests for decision-making in schools have focused on ability tracking, placement in special education classes, test scores as school admissions criteria, test disclosure, and teacher competency.

The history of lawsuits against standardized tests went as follows:

Hobson v. Hansen (1967):   it was ruled that the IQ tests used to track students were culturally biased because they were standardized on a white, middle-class sample. It was ruled that these tests were inaccurate for lower-class and black students, and the court abolished the tracking system..

Moses v. Washington Parish School Board (1971):   The case was also somewhat unique because it involved a recently-desegregated school. The courts ruled against test use for tracking under these circumstances.

Larry P. v. Riles (1972):   IQ tests were being used to place students in EMR classes.   The court decided that the parents would also be influenced by the test scores and was not sympathetic to the defense’s argument that there was no better alternative. In later appeals,  the court found that the racial differences in test scores were due to cultural bias in the tests.

Special Education (PASE) v. Hannon (1980):  This similar case did not side with the argument above, because other criteria were also used for placement and many of the school psychologists were black, Judge Grady found for the defendants.

Diana v. California State Board of Education 1970:  Research indicated that, on the IQ tests used for placement in EMR classes, Mexican-Americans gained 15 points if they were allowed to respond in Spanish. The consent decree allowed non-Anglo children to choose the language in which they would respond, banned the use of verbal sections of the test, and required state psychologists to develop an IQ test appropriate for Mexican-Americans and other non-English-speaking students.

Bakke v. Regents of the University of California (1976): 16% of entry spots were reserved for minority candidates;   the special admissions policy was challenged as being discriminatory against White applicants because race was one criterion for disadvantagement.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (1974):   It allows parents and eligible students access to their education records and an opportunity to challenge those records, including the test protocols used for placement of students.

1980, New York passed a Truth-in-Testing bill covering college admissions tests, among others. Proponents of the bill argued that it would humanize the admissions process, equalize opportunities for minorities, and ensure the accountability of test publishers.

National Teacher Examinations (NTE) for certification and promotion in South Carolina can be used to illustrate these issues. Use of the NTE was challenged by the National Education Association, the South Carolina Education Association, and the U.S. Justice Department on the grounds that the NTE were biased against minorities; many more Black than White applicants failed the test.States or school districts must be able to demonstrate that a test is valid for the purpose for which it is being used.

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Legal issues become involved when tests are used as a mechanism for social control.   The issues revolve around the validity of the test for a specific use…  Specific legal decisions depend on “the particular circumstances surrounding a given case, the evidence brought to bear in the case, and the opinion of the judge and jury involved” (Nitko 1983).

There are adequate grounds and precedents for a lawsuit to stop Common Core and the Smarter Balanced Assessments, especially during the K-3 ages.  Mounting evidence that such testing is harmful to children at such a young age, is becoming well documented.  If Common Core can ruled to not be taught in k-3, since it needs those years for its development, it must be scrapped entirely….

Released (today) Thursday, the new time projections are higher than the estimates that PARCC issued in March of 2013: eight to 10 hours of testing. But that’s because the earlier figures reflected something different: the amount of time “typical” students would need to complete the English/language arts and mathematics tests.

The new numbers, informed by data from last spring’s field test of 1 million students, reflect the amounts of time needed to allow “virtually all” students to finish the tests.

The field tests showed that 75 percent of students finished the tests in 6½ to 7½ hours, PARCC officials said. But to facilitate “virtually all” students completing the tests, PARCC is instructing schools to allot 9¾ hours to 11¼ hours for the first operational assessment in the spring of 2015…

Here are the amounts of time PARCC projects will be needed for “virtually all” students to complete the tests:
Grade 3:
English/language arts: 4¾ hours
Math: 5 hours
Total: 9 ¾ hours

Grades 4-5:
English/language arts: 5 hours
Math: 5 hours
Total: 10 hours

Grades 6-8:
English/language arts: 5 ¾ hours
Math: 5 hours
Total:  10 ¾ hours

Grades 9-11:
English/language arts: 5¾ hours
Math (Algebra I, Geometry, Integrated Math 1 or Integrated Math 2): 5 ⅓ hours
Math (Algebra II or Integrated Math 3): 5 ½ hours
Total: 11 to 11¼ hours

The other federally funded consortium, Smarter Balanced, has not made any adjustments to its projected testing times in the wake of its field-testing experiences. The Smarter Balanced assessments are still projected to take seven to 8 ½ hours, depending on grade level, as the consortium announced in November 2012. To produce those time estimates, the consortium scaled back the number of performance tasks in the test to one in mathematics and one in English/language arts. Smarter Balanced’s original design was projected to take students 10 ½ hours or more to complete.

Even as the time estimates for PARCC and Smarter Balanced exceed what many states currently require for their state exams…
Please call Greg Lavelle and  thank him from the bottom of your heart….

Phone: (302) 478-6128

(^ H/t John Young.)

We are destroying equity, excellence, and limiting opportunity by implementing Common Core and using the Smarter Balanced Assessment as the one only guide to rate our students..  We are using one single metric, which is “how well children learn English in the “New Criticism” fashion”, to judge their entire worth…

By doing this we are destroying equity by separating winners away from losers. We are destroying excellence by narrowing all knowledge down to just one of many approaches to intellectual criticism, and we are limiting all opportunity for all but those tiny few who with luck and help from above, navigate through the tiniest of opening to emerge in the land of the privileged…

If our curriculum does not overthrow Common Core and the Smarter Balanced Assessments:

  • There can be no public school taught doctors;
  • There can be no public school taught lawyers:
  • There can be no public school taught scientists:
  • There can be no public school taught teachers:
  • There can be no public school taught economists:

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They will be have been shorted the tools they needed to go further.  Common Core shuts the only door of opportunity a child not born of millionaires still has… public education.  One can only learn what one is taught.  Common Core teaches nothing. At the end of 12 years, students know nothing.

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Forget opportunity for Afro-Americans. for Hispanics, even for Asians, or for whites… Only money will determine whose children will be hired at high rates and today’s going rate is $25,000 a year for private non-Common Core schools… After all, private teaching is how all education was performed throughout the world’s history until 20th Century America first experimented with its then brand-new democratic idea of offering education to everyone across one’s society…

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The bedrock of Americanism is under attack.  Forget ISIS… Your biggest national security threat is closer than you think… Wake your asses up…

 

Hello Carper’s Office?

Uh, yes, could you give Tom Carper my take on the Keystone Pipeline vote?

I’m Against…

Yes, here is my name.

My address….

My email…

Sorry, I don’t give out my phone. This is 2014.  I never answer it anyways.

Thank you… Goodbye…

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Folks it is that easy and if you don’t do it. at some point in the future, you will wish you had… Did you know that the carbon first crossed 400 ppm last June for the first time EVER (well in 300 million years)?  And that this April, ending just last week, the average, the average for the whole entire month, was above that 400 ppm milestone first reached last summer?

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There is no way we need more convenient carbon dioxide pumped into our atmosphere….  It is scary, really.  We don’t know what could happen.  We do know that something really weird happened on Mars… It got warm and lost its atmosphere. So the options of what might happen here, are relatively wide open…..

The deep blue sea… How often have we heard that? So which of those adjectives are the more predominant, which of those words carries the most descriptive weight? A conundrum?

Not if you add the word “water” to each of those descriptive adjectives…. as in”

Deepwater
Bluewater

Still puzzled? Add the noun “wind”

Deepwater Wind
Bluewater Wind….

The Washington Post reports a deal has been struck and the first Offshore Wind Farm, (which was to be Bluewater Wind 5 years ago), is now going to be Deepwater Wind off Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Rhode Island will now become the center for wind farm technology on the East Coast. If Delaware ever gets to this point, and one would think Markell would have been on top of this one, we will now be buying all our stuff from Rhode Island and importing it down the East Coast on barges, instead of vice versa.

The wind kinda of went out of Delaware today.

Opportunity Sets For Delaware To Become the Wind Hub

You'll Come A Waltzing Matilda With Me

2012 is a record breaking year.. We guessed because the ice melt was the largest ever recorded, and broke the old record a month before the melting season ended. Right now, summer in the other half of the world, is breaking records in Australia. They even had to put a new color on the temperature chart to show temperatures over 50 degrees C…..

If you look at this global temperature list, and add 2012 to the top,(the authors have not already), you see a point I’ll drive home.

Out of the eleven hottest years ever recorded, ten have occurred since 2001…. Which means only one of the top ten hottest years, 1998, was not in the past decade…

Here is the scary part. A 3 degree rise, was deemed to be cataclysmic. The US rose 1 degree last year…. As the chart shows, up till now, rises were in the tenths of a degree.

2012 just blew everything right out of the water.

And as mentioned last summer a tongue of ice cold Labrador current penetrated the Gulf Stream, and almost turned it away from Europe; wow, that would really change things over there

And you know who is to blame? People in the Caesar Rodney Institute who said global warming was a hoax, and the Republican party of the United States of America, who prevented all proper actions that could have minimized the extent, from seeing the light of day…

So be nice. The next time someone says they are a Republican? Say: “Oh, gee thanks again for ruining the world.”

I’m sure it will make their day….