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Red Clay voted for the MOU… Christina is still debating.   Red Clay caved to power…

I’ve been thinking over how Christina should handle this… And I believe it is well on its way to doing just that.

And power has a lot to do with it.  The billion dollar question is this:  whether it is better to “go along to get along” and always be the slave to whatever gets passed down, or to fight for the freedom to do what’s best for children, and make the other side have to listen to what you say for a change….

And the crux of that argument comes down to this: (which as is usual in a democracy) boils down to how its effects parry across those people who are directly affected by this decision.

The question: is whatever action soon to be taken by Christina in the future, the best option for all the children who will pass through its doors, as well as the best option for all the residents who fork over half their property taxes to fund these schools?….

History shows that what is best, is decentralization… Especially letting those involved who have to deal with the consequences of life-or-death decisions be the ones to determine those decisions in the first place. Things usually work out better that way.

In all cases where centralization has occurred, when poor policy gets decided at the top, it gets forced downward through intimidation or stealth…

Let us examine the state’s record over these past 6 years.   The extra $119 million given by the Feds for education, was squandered…  Where are the new books?  Where are the new classrooms?  Where are the new supplies?  They are not there…. Instead all Delaware has to show for the money, is a $119 million dollar test, one that the entire nation is now up in arms over…  This one little test is all we have to show for $119 million…

Not a proper track record to be given for taking over public schools… I and most Delawareans think someone else should be in control.

The University of Delaware’s report shows 2 priority schools are doing extremely well. This report is a very good case to highlight exactly what is going on here.  These schools were put on probation several years ago, and under the Christina District board, they appear to have tackled the problems so well that according to experts of the University of Delaware inspection team, they have made excellent progress….

It is like firing the coach of the University of Delaware team after they’ve won the championship… (like that would ever happen). But that is exactly what Penny Schwinn implied… That since they happened to be the “coaches” who were hired back when the teams were rebuilding, they can’t possibly remain the head coach now that after all taht hard work, they are in a winning season….

Everyone knows the reason they are being fired, is that like K. C. Keeler, they have a new coach already picked and have already promised her the job.

If the University of Delaware football team can be used as a good example, firing a really good coach and replacing them with a close personal friend, is not the best thing for either a competitive team, or for a school district…

But that is exactly what is being done… This year’s Delaware’s Fighting Blue Hen record was  a dismal 7–5 (4–4 CAA) btw…   yet after the 86 wins and the 2003 National Championship, a good coach was canned to be replaced by this at best mediocre 7-5 coach.  Likewise, after bringing two schools back, those principals are being sacked to make room for someone who doesn’t have a similar track record of success….

If the Christina board succumbs and says to the state DOE, “we will do it your way”, then mediocre must be the best one can ever expect out these students.  It appears the best option is to now stand by those who have done well, and work to better those who can improve…

So if the Christina Board says no to the MOU and puts the ball into the state’s hands, there are two further alternatives. One is a legal injunction; the other is legislation negating the authority of the DOE.  Both bring outside eyes to the entire takeover and make them highly public affairs….

Like sacking K.C. Keeler, if the DOE does override the district and fire principals, teachers, and bring in someone else, the entire world will be micromanaging that person to see if she succeeds or fails… With the entire world looking at her down the wrong end of the telescope, fail she will.

As every mis-step is broadcast across the blogs, WDEL, WDDE, thereby forcing the News Journal to tell the truth for once as well, there is no way the DOE wins… They fired a winning coach and put in a loser. In fact, their very visible missteps here could remove all future DOE interference in public schools for years to come….

Christina District has two options.  Accept the terms being forced upon it and lose all, or, take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them…

Only the latter choice creates any resolution. It may not go your way, that is possible, but you can never be blamed for the corporate selling of the children in your charge, back into slavery. They were taken from you.

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If your public school mandated that all graduates need to jump a 6 foot high bar in order to pass, would you simply let them go through with it, or would you opt them out?

If your public school mandated that all graduates needed to perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto Number 3, with only 7 errors or not graduate, would you simply let them go through with it, or would you opt out?

If your public school mandated that all graduates needed to dance the first half of the Swan Lake ballet perfectly in order to graduate, would you simply let them go through with it, or would you opt out?

If your public school mandated that all graduates needed to memorize the Koran in order to graduate, would you simply let them go through with ti, or would you opt out?

If your public school mandated that all graduates needed to recite back the 5th Chapter of Hitler’s Mein Kempf in order to graduate, would you simply let them go through with it, or would you opt out?

If your public school mandated that the final exam must be answered in Ukraine, would you simply let them go through with it, or would you opt out?

On the same scale but with different topics, this is what is being asked of every Delaware child this spring….  Can you meet the super high bar we have set for you?  Because if you don’t, you will fail; your teachers will lose their jobs; and your schools, whether Gateway Charter, Moyer, Warner, Shortlidge, Bancroft, Bayard, Highlands, or that other one, will be shut down and sold off to the highest bidder in a closed auction.

The test is designed to fail 70% of students….  If all the students miraculously do very well, the curve still stands: 70% will fail… If all the students unsurprisingly do very poorly, the curve still stands:  70% will fail… It is fore-ordained.

Your child has a 7 in one chance of failing… Not because he is not smart… His brain capacity does not change… No, he is being failed over an administrative action…  “WE HAVE TOO MANY CHILDREN PASSING…. RAISE THE STANDARDS HIGHER SO FEWER CAN MOVE ON.”

A two-tiered educational system is being created out of the burned out hulls of our public schools. Those who are given the “cheats” ( two educated parents, lots of early brain development, 5000 word vocabularies at age 5, reading and math games from age 1 to age 5)… versus everyone else.  If you can think like the test makers want you to think, you will pass and advance to become one of the future privileged.  But if you had immigrant parents, one parent, or one guardian, were poor, had no books, imprinted on an English accent other then the King’s tongues, then too bad.  You were deemed stupid.  The super-hard test says so. No good jobs for you.  McDonald’s is hiring.

So instead of giving every student an equal opportunity, the Smarter Balance Assessment will cull out only those who have been privileged, and leave absolutely all others in squalor. This is why it must be stopped.  If it goes through, many children will undeservingly be left behind… In fact, all except the fortunate 30%, will cease to develop further and never be given the equal opportunity our forefathers hoped all citizens could rise to achieve.

This Smarter Balanced Assessment was never discussed with the public… It’s implications are mostly unknown to the majority of Americans without school aged children.   It is just one more prong to establish an elite among American citizens.

If your child or grandchild would fail any of the requirements offered in jest above, there is a very good likelihood he is going to fall into the 70%….

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How to stop this.

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A good example is to study Prohibition.  That too was caused by a handful of temperance radicals (who through trickery) sneaked through the act of Prohibition, foisting it upon millions of Americans who woke up one day and went… “Huh?”

“Fvck it” (the Latin version) they said, and like low speed limits and anti-hand cell phone legislation, decided en masse not only to disobey it, but flaunt their disobedience unless someone enforcing the law was watching… Even most police forces chose not to arrest places serving liquor or patrons receiving it, as long as they got to drink there as well.

Eventually Prohibition was quietly repealed by a new administration who simply didn’t want to deal with enforcing such a bad law.

The same must happen with the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  There is a highly contagious flu this season.  So keep your child out during the Smarter Balanced Assessment window so as not to contaminate all others … (Nothing gets taught during the testing window; they show movies (PG-13 and R) to those waiting their turn to take the test).

If no one takes the test. the micro results have no credibility and can’t be used.  It is like enforcing prohibition.  No one wants to enforce a law that is extremely unpopular….

If you truly love your child, you need to opt them out of their taking their Smarter Balanced Assessment, otherwise they will come home demoralized and feeling pathetically stupid. They aren’t the stupids… The stupid ones were the parents who didn’t opt them out.

Tonight there will be another town meeting, this the only one in Newark, regarding the upcoming takeover of 6 public schools…  All the players were there, and it was brought up that the number one player with the most at stake, was absent….   you.

The challenge was proffered.  What do you want your public schools to be?

I had to catch myself… My first reaction was a long tedious list of what I didn’t want them to be… which shortened considerably, boils down to one word:  Philadelphia.

So as THE self appointed globally sanctioned prime expert on education across the entire world, knowledgeable of schools from the aborigine Outback, Ghana, China, Russia, Europe, Brazil, to the US…  this was an opportune time to define eduction in its most realistic perspective.

Anyone of age, knows as a young parent you have very detailed ideas of how your child is going to be… but then as a grandparent, you throw them all out the window and enjoy the individual spirit and quirks each child possesses… That perspective is endemic to where I am going to take this conversation.

1)  All people are different; education strategy must account for that.  Anything that defines education to one single formula will work for one single type of human being, and fail for all the others… Guaranteed! Some more so than others. Success depends on bringing each individual person’s talents, instilled in them either by genetics or environment, to the area where they can be most successful and live happy and productive lives… (Assuming the whole principle for living is to be happy and have a productive life…  After all: why should anyone purposefully live to endure an unhappy and fruitless life?)

2) People tend to learn what they deem is important and discard the rest.  It is how we are wired… Making people learn things that are not important is a waste of time… They’ll forget it, so why invest the time teaching something that is not there in two days, and is never again needed in their lifetimes?

3) Since children are acquiescent, education across the ages has always revolved around what adults think should be instilled to promote the society they envision… Example, people who are bible bangers think we need more religion in our schools because, if everyone thought as did they, they wouldn’t be ostracized by society anymore.. So usually for whatever reason, educational policy has always been about promoting the self-interests of the policy maker.  Recently Common Core. Once it was Science.  Once it was Creationism.  Now it is $$$$$.

4) There is a lot of consensus that everyone should have the ability to read the language they will be using the rest of their life, and to add, subtract, multiply, and divide (specifically in a base-10 system)….  These are fundlemental and I am sure that a statically rounded 100% of all human beings would agree to that.

5) And lastly:  it should be a guaranteed right that everyone has the right to learn what ever they want, if they want to avail themselves of the opportunity….  Which means at an early age:  exposure to a wide variety; and at a later age, freedom to pursue that area in which they perceive they will be happiest…

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And that is it….  From there the discussion boils down into petty arguments, vision, details, and personal whims and attributes.  Conservatives want a conservative agenda taught, with no mention of the sins of liberal thinking… Religious nuts want their religion, and only THEIR religion taught to bolster their teachings at home.  Business interests want psychological robots to perform tasks on demand with no question.  Intellectuals want the smart ones culled and given an robust menu upon which to flourish.  Poor people just want someone to keep their kids till they can make it home from work.

So what we need is an educational system that encompasses all of the above…. In other words, is it unrealistic to expect a child of a crack mom, kept by an aunt who works 2 jobs, to achieve standards set for an above average affluent white suburbanite from a family income well over $80,000?   Why, yes.  It is…  In other words, is it unrealistic to expect a child raped by a relative entrusted of its care, to behave as would a child of a wealthy stay-at-home mom who ran things with an iron fist beginning at birth, whose child never learned any other option other than trust implicitly what they were told to do?  Why, yes… it is… In other words, is it unrealistic to expect a child who has a 500 word vocabulary upon entering 1st grade to achieve at the same level expected of a child whose parents boast they have read to him over 2000 books before he/she enters the school system?   Why, yes… it is…

I am right on the verge of preaching again what schools should not be, which since I said earilier I would not do, I will leave it to you to put that together in your own mind….

But as a final thought, some of us are old enough to remember the public service commercials once ending with:  “because a mind is a terrible thing to waste…..” 

And that is the essence to me of what our public schools should be….

They should be areas of opportunity….  Where if a child is born of a gifted mind, he won’t be denied opportunity because of the color of his skin, or the economic standing of his parents, or a disability with which he was born….

All people may be created equal, but not all have equal opportunity upon arriving upon public education’s doorstep.  The true ideal of public education should be to give ALL those arriving, the opportunity to make their lives better than what it would be, if such schools did not exist.

So, based on the assumption that schools should be areas of opportunity, a lot of crap is immediately discarded and those things that impeding this mission of being an opportunity become readily apparent.

1) Those students denying other students their opportunity to learn, need to be culled.

2) Sports, music, and arts, providing additional opportunities, need to be enhanced, not diminished.

3) Statewide testing should be only a measure of each student’s progress. Not a brick bat to level at teachers, schools, and districts, and poor people in general.

4) We should be happy if all can read, write, and do basic math.  But we should definitely offer more for those so inclined to go further.

5) A child’s path should be decided by its parents… If the child has none, then the best experts possible should be there to guide him.

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Education should be neither liberal or conservative, but should include elements promoting both.  It should be neither religious or atheistic, but should include elements exploring both.  It should be neither for rich or poor, but should include opportunities for both….

Public Education should be the place where anyone, no matter what number life has given him, can grow and explore however he is so inclined.  No limits. No entry restrictions.

Case in point: there was once a black kid, of single mom, immigrant estranged father, raised by grandparents, who took full advantage of all public education’s opportunities… He is now the President of the United States of America….

Alas, if we could have only given Republicans as equal of an education.

The Achievement gap was born from between the legs of No Child Left Behind…  That federal plan once reviled inside the educational field, because it forced the establishment of costly mandates without providing the means to fund them… is now looked back on fondly thanks to Race To The Top and Common Core.  Both which make educators remember the innocent times of No Child Left Behind…  now completely forgetting how nice things were before both.  NCLB began with our focus on closing the achievement gap…

Just for fun, Imagine an early Meso-American civilization that had a strong belief in some Almighty being and therefore assumed all bad came from his displeasure… When natural weather cycles were not favorable, they believed it was due to his displeasure over their sacrifices. The numbers of murdered citizens were ordered to be ramped up until the natural cycle swung to more favorable weather conditions…  Today we know there was no connection… however their civilization never realized it and in their limited way, they thought they were doing everything in their power to change reality.  Those in power never lost anything.  But those out of power suffered catastrophically, truly a “Hunger Games” mentality.

“The truth is that achievement-gap mania has led to education policy that has shortchanged many children. It has narrowed the scope of schooling.  It has hollowed out public support for school reform. It has stifled educational innovation. It has distorted the way we approach educational choice, accountability, and reform.”

Because of the way “achievement gaps” are measured — using scores on standardized reading and math tests — any effort to “close the achievement gap” must necessarily focus on instruction in reading and math. Hence many schools, particularly those at risk of getting failing grades under NCLB, have fixated on reading and math exclusively; other subjects — art and music, foreign language, history, even science — have been set aside to make more time and resources available for remedial instruction…

From inside Penny Schwinn’s  (Delaware’s Chief Accountability and Performance Officer) ) own home district, The New York Times has reported that in Sacramento, California, poorly performing students are permitted to enroll only in math, reading, and gym, in a mad dash to help close the achievement gap.

About 150 of one school’s 885 students spend five of their six class periods on math, reading and gym, leaving only one 55-minute period for all other subjects....

The intensive reading and math classes did raise test scores for several years running.  But in despite the progress on this artificial goal of achievement, the school’s scores on California state exams, used for compliance with the federal law, were increasing not nearly fast enough to allow the school to keep up with the rising test benchmarks! On the math exams 17.4 percent of students scored at the proficient level or above, and on the reading exams, only 14.9 percent….. This despite being drilled on it 5/6ths of every single day….

This is what we must expect to be slammed through six schools in Delaware, and as Kilroy well notes, the damage won’t become visible until after the “next” governor takes his oath of office.  But by the time it gets undone, It will mess up a minimum of 5 years worth of kids whose unlucky lot in life was to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Because of this single focus, between 1997 and 2008, the share of U.S. elementary schools offering foreign-language classes fell by roughly one-fifth…  Furthermore, in a 2010 survey, 70% of high-school social-studies teachers reported that civics has been marginalized by the focus on reading and math assessments… A narrow focus shortchanges all others in the pipeline. When asked which students were most likely to get one-on-one attention from teachers, 80% of the survey participants said academically struggling students, while just 5% said academically advanced students….

With NCLB all parties both liberal and conservative, agreed that school performance should be judged not by how well the schools did as a whole, but rather by achievement on reading and math assessments of the school’s worst-performing demographic “subgroup.” In other words, every public school in America would henceforth be judged primarily on its ability to drive up the reading and math scores of its most disadvantaged students. Indeed,
as Bush’s NCLB blueprint proposed, “Sanctions [would] be based on a state’s failure to narrow the achievement gap . . . in math and reading in grades 3 through 8.”

Consequences began piling up.

First, achievement-gap mania has signaled to the vast majority of American parents that school reform isn’t about their kids. They are now expected to support efforts to close the achievement gap simply because it’s “the right thing to do,”

Second, achievement-gap mania has created a dangerous complacency, giving suburban and middle-class Americans the false sense that things are just fine in their own schools. Thus it’s no surprise that professionals and suburbanites tend to regard “reforms” — from merit pay to charter schooling — as measures that they’ll tolerate as long as they’re reserved for urban schools, but that they won’t stand for in their own communities.

Third, achievement-gap mania has prompted reformers to treat schools as instruments to be used in crafting desired social outcomes, capable of being “fixed” simply through legislative solutions and federal policies. This tendency is hardly surprising, given that most of the thinking about achievement gaps is done in the context not of education reform but of “social justice.”

Fourth, the achievement-gap mindset stifles innovation. When a nation focuses all its energies on boosting the reading and math scores of the most vulnerable students, there is neither much cause nor much appetite for developing and pursuing education strategies capable of improving American schools overall.

Fifth, in a terrible irony, achievement-gap mania has indirectly made it more difficult for reformers to promote integrated schools. Philanthropic foundations that support education causes are interested in serving as many poor and minority children as possible; when 30% to 40% of a student body is made up of white or affluent students, the
school is deemed suspect; reform-minded foundations see such programs as “wasting” a third of their seats.

The problem with achievement-gap mania is not that it is necessarily wrong; the problem is that its self-confident purveyors have been uniformly uninterested in the cost, complications, or consequences of their crusade. The result has been to effectively stifle debate, alienate most parents from the school-reform agenda, and insist that a flawed, mechanistic vision of schooling ought to steer our course in the 21st century.

The correct solution is to ensure that these claims are placed in their proper context — weighed against the competing claims of other children and of society at large. The obligation of the new breed of serious reformers, then, is to rekindle debate. They have a responsibility to help lawmakers, educators, and foundations understand that, while achievement gaps are important, they are just one challenge in a vast education landscape. We, who are the new Reformers,… must challenge ourselves to insist that the demands of gap-closing crusaders be subjected to rigorous, careful scrutiny….

The new or post-reformers insist on a decentralized method of education, albeit one flush with resources.  Almost no one mentions the alleged collapse in educational excellence transpired exactly step by step, along the same time frame that coincided with tax revolt politics… When we cut the money, we lost educational excellence.  This is the prime lesson that must be drilled into heads… Money works.

The new post-Reformers insist on de-centralized control, with adequate funding available to insure all students individually get the educational tools required to thrive….

Their framework consists of the following…

A)  11:1 student teacher ratio in all schools under 50% reduced lunch, grades k-5 and in 9th grade.

B)  Sub groups of 11 students in a team working together with similar tested levels and abilities, all having one teacher held accountable for promoting those 11 children into the next level.

C)  After-school daycare programs for all school ages to provide those in need, a safe, nutritious environment and allow for continued educational stimuli to contradict the vacuum they would face at home.

D)  Clip teacher-performance apart from testing data which simply tested the poverty levels of those students, and not the educational prowess of individual teachers.   Continue the tests as great diagnostic toolsbut free schools and teachers from being fired over the results.  Doing this will give more honest feedback of individual points missed by individual students across the spans of their education.

E)  Cut Charter Schools from per-student funding.  Have them instead funded by line items in the state budget as would any other contractor hoping to provide a service to the state.  The problem with Charter Schools is that for every student they might help by providing a better environment, they hurt 4 others who through no fault of their own get left behind.  Negative 4 plus positive one equals a negative 3… It’s  hard to move the needle forward when you cause more hurt than help.

F)  The bulk of student funding, comes from property taxes on those parents themselves.  Ultimate control must be given to them, through their elected school boards to determine issues relevant to their constituents, and not be dictated from the Federal who funds 10% or the state who funds 30%…  The Federal and States have different agendas, as opposed to the locals, who prime focus is just on their kids…  The proper role of state and Federal authorities should be as sales people, promoting a cause or a way, and not as dictator, demanding that their personal friends and political cronies get paid with some of the local’s hard earned money.

G)  Finally realize that on a larger scale we need fair taxation.  Which means that those who make most of the money, should bear most of the costs… We need to finally raise tax revenues coming from the top 1% and mega-corporations enabling us to have the necessary funding required to create an across the board society educated so well, that we no longer will have to stand and argue that we need a “world class education”.

Other nations will plea they need an “American class education”….

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Ass Mints

The interactive site is here…….

Think about these myths as you gaze….

  • All students will be tested by the same test.
  • There is one united curriculum across this nation. 
  • That curriculum is internationally benchmarked.
  • Students in Idaho can be compared to students in Louisiana.

 

 

 

 

Due to the report lambasting Delaware for coddling special ed children, I have dug into the topic of education disabled children…..As usual… it comes down not to science, but wishful thinking….

Here is how the department of Education described forcing children to achieve a high bar that is impossible for them…..

“Under the Department’s proposed regulation, students with disabilities who have been taking the AA-MAAS (Alternative Assessments-Alligned to Modifed Academic Achievement Standards) will transition to college and career ready standards and general assessments that are aligned to those standards and accessible to all students. Research has shown that struggling students with disabilities make academic progress when provided with appropriate supports and instruction. .”   That seems to meet the common sense test doesn’t it?   Pushing people harder gets more productivity.

The key is in “red”….

Scientific research shows that raising the bar and firing the coaches when they don’t meet it, raises student performance. Supposedly. Case in point.  An invading army pulls into your development and forces everyone outside: moms, dads, women, and children.  They set up a six foot high jump and say they will shoot all those who do not make it…  You see your neighbor’s family shot before your eyes.  It is your turn… it’s six feet.  Will you make it?

Here is what an advocacy group for those with disabilities says about scientific research….

“Unfortunately, the amount of rigorous, evidence-based research on programs that promote positive outcomes for students with disabilities is severely limited. First, most research is aimed at young students and strategies to help them learn to read. Second, the few evaluations that are available usually involve a very limited number of students, sometimes fewer than a dozen, which makes drawing conclusions about a broader group very difficult. Third, most of the evaluations only focus on one type of disability (e.g. severe cognitive disability or learning disability), again making general applicability of findings difficult. And last, while a few scientifically rigorous studies of programs were identified, there were almost none in the area of dropout prevention, and only a few on the transition from secondary to postsecondary education.”

People who know and are directly affected, say there is little to no scientific research…..   

And believe me, they are concerned and have read every little tidbit on this topic…. (Wouldn’t you if you were disabled?) They continue with what they found……

“According to the research that does exist, strategies that seem to be most effective in helping students with disabilities persist in high school typically include counseling services, reading remediation, tutoring, attendance monitoring, or after-school clubs (Lehr, Hansen, Sinclair, & Christenson, 2003). Other services could include sustained and supportive monitoring
interventions focused on school completion (Scanlon & Mellard, 2002). An early 1990s study of three dropout prevention programs for students with disabilities sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education found that five components were common to all programs: persistence, continuity and consistency; monitoring; relationships; affiliation; and problem-solving skills.”

Does anyone see…. setting the bar higher?   Does anyone see…. rigor?    Does anyone see…. forced humiliation?……  Does anyone see in the above even a hint of forcing a fat slob through a thin door is going to make them thinner on the other side?  No?  Because such analogies are ridiculous… Just like this rigor policy for children who are disabled is ridiculous….

Let’s expand… Do physical therapists tell rehabilitation patients to get up and walk before the bones are set?  Are open surgery patients told to run a mile immediately after surgery?  Are injured football players forced to play their positions after injury?  Why not?   We seem to be having great fun at humiliating special ed students to perform activities they completely lack the pieces in their brain to do….   What kind of parent would attach their child to their family car, take off the brake, put it in neutral and make them pull it downhill?…  The Arne Duncun kind of parent….. that’s who.

This is what is at stake here.  The dark sinister anti-children theorists of Common Core, have doubled down on special-ed children… Unless a child is born perfectly from two Stepford-like professional parents, by this Department of Education that child is ordained not to succeed. Instead, he is to be punished and public humiliated as comic sport,… just to goad those onward who can succeed into not falling any further behind….

That is Roman. That is cruel.

 

Colin Powell’s think tank just pegged graduation rates nationally at 80%. A new record.  That is 77% for males, 84% for females… This is marked for 2012… (our data ranges 2 years behind, even in this day of instant access…)

Data is broken down for states…..

Delaware, the best place to live in America, has an overall graduation rate of 78% that year… Broken down it goes like this:

77% American Indian  (65)

90% Asian (87)

71% Hispanic (71)

73% Black (67)

82% White (84)

71% Economically Disadvantaged (70)

65% Limited English (57)

56% Physical disabilities (59)

The national averages are included in the parenthesis… As can be readily seen, it is those damn white people that are bringing our state down!  Nice job, Blacks.  Way to push our team forward….

Now don’t let anyone tell you this success is from Common Core… These graduates in 2012, walked into first grade in 2000… Common Core wasn’t even a wet dream back then.  Common Core didn’t begin planning stages until 2010, and the very first pilot clases were rolled out in the 2012-2013 school year….  And even today, we still don’t know what we are doing…

If anything, this is somewhat of a vindication of No Child Left Behind….. This would be the first class that across its entire lifespan (more or less), was under the tutelage of teachers faced with penalties for not striving to succeed…  It is impossible to tell, since a myriad of other factors are in play, and there was no isolation or scientific process to weed out all other possibilities. Any one of those could be the big one, which was that due to the recession during this age group’s high school years,… staying in school was really the “only” practical option available….

Every parent who has had a child already undergo the Smart Balance Assessments or the PARCC, knows this graduation rate will plummet as soon as Common Core goes into effect… They see it in their child:  “Boy, I can’t wait to quit school and get away from all this ridiculous boring bullsh\t !”  Instructions for Common Core are harder to understand than Mandarin calligraphy…. At least one can learn Mandarin calligraphy. Common Core is a fluctuating standard that can be shifted either up or down upon a whim… depending on whether the power that be, “like” your child.

So we need to celebrate this graduation milestone, and be grateful that for whatever the cause, more children than ever stayed in school all the way… Then immediately after our cheer, we need to call every legislator we can think of, and cajole, demand, or plead they abandon Common Core before it destroys something great which is working…

You don’t tinker with something that is working….

It never comes out better…..

 

 

I see John got here first… but this link explains Race To The Top better than any explanation so far….    My takeaway was that looking at how the winners taking a lion’s share of the money, how does that help the losers?  It is as if the 1% philosophy of just spending money on the very top… seems to have poisoned the system.

I’m sure every one has followed this…

The transcript was as follows….

Photo op:  Arne visits children washing dolls and playing with clay… Too painful to visit an English or Math Class pulling out their hair over  Common Core..  We got the equivalent of Rep. Ryan washing clean pots and pans for the cameras…  Anyways:

Here are Delaware’s Achievements.

  • Test Scores Up. (the state average actually fell down in 2013 due to the first implementation of Common Core Curriculum)
  • Drop out rates down (due to programs targeting dropouts, involving high intensity teachers who are allowed to “just teach”.)
  • More young people taking AP classes (a national trend coinciding with allowing the use of smart phones now allowed to accompany students)
  • More low income students going to college ( made easier by the smaller number of students – about 2,000 – considered now to be academically ready for college. About 7,000 were not.)

Governor Markell tells of his next steps.

  • reform teacher compensation. (not pay more for higher degrees)
  • revamp the state’s education funding formula (go with 100% charter schools)

Overall Duncun stated “This is a state that’s helping demonstrate to the nation what’s possible with tenacity, with courage, and a willingness to challenge the status quo,”

In most ranking over the past 5 years, Delaware’s education still remains flat, and in the middle of the pack.

A real education governor would eliminate charter schools and work towards an 11:1 student teacher ratio in all elementary schools with poverty levels over 50% and in ninth grade…..

 

“” Hurricane Katrina was the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans.”    According to Secretary Duncan, every major city needs a Hurricane Katrina or some other natural disaster to demolish public education and eliminate teachers’ unions so they can be replaced by privately managed charter schools and Teach for America. ..

 “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”    This was after Arne Duncun’s tests failed 70% of the entire state of New York, which ranked number one in education in a CNBC report.

“We should be able to look every second grader in the eye and say, ‘You’re on track, you’re going to be able to go to a good college, or you’re not,’ ” he said. “Right now, in too many states, quite frankly, we lie to children. We lie to them and we lie to their families.”  Any of you ever have a 7  year old child or grandchild?  “You are not going to college”..you would tell him ?

“The vast majority who drop out of high school drop out not because it’s too hard but because it’s too easy”….  Really?  I’m dropping out of school because it is too easy and I get A+++ without trying?

“We’ve been able to do things – for example, close schools for academic failure. It is hugely difficult, it’s hugely controversial and it’s absolutely the right thing to do. That simply does not happen in other cities, because of a lack of political will..”.And how is the educational system of Chicago, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Washington DC, and Cleveland, doing right now?  There schools all got worse.  You may have showed political will, Arne, but you just ruined the entire futures of tens of millions of children.

“Teach For America made teaching cool again in low-income communities for a whole generation of talented college graduates. Its record shows that poverty need not be destiny in the classroom. When it comes to teaching, talent matters tremendously.”    How is that talent taught in 24 days, 6 hours each, better than talent that has gone through 4 years of higher educational training, and perhaps even has a masters or doctorate in education?

We’ve seen more reform in the last year than we’ve seen in decades, and we haven’t spent a dime yet. It’s staggering how the Recovery Act is driving change….    Maybe we shouldn’t have tried to  fix what isn’t broken…..

Arne Duncun as was broken by Kilroy himself, is coming to Delaware… home of the education governor….

Eastside Charter School  (on the East Side) at  10:45

Mt. Pleasant High School off Marsh Road…at 12:40  (chosen because it is closest to the state police barracks (Troop 3) in case a giant riot breaks out. The National Guard has been issued orders for no leave in order to be on standby.

Get your shirts, signs, request-off’s, chants, Last Rites, and bring friends, Romans, and neighbors (countrymen is too old fashioned;  Common Core got rid of Shakespeare anyways to teach students how to read product manuals on assembling ceiling fans.)….. Start thinking of the message you personally want presented as the press rolls up to film the governor…

Here are a few:

  • Opt out of the tests. (legal right by US Constitution but not yet codified by state law.
  • Get rid of Component 5. Teacher evaluations should not be held to test scores.
  • 11:1 Student teacher ratio works;
  • Public Schools Teach Better Than Charter Schools, the proof is published.
  • Stop Charter Schools From Stealing Money Away From Public Schools.
  • Fund Charters Like Vo-Tech schools!
  • Get Corporate OUT of Education;  Our Children Are Not Here For Someone’s Else’s Investment Profits.

 

That’s a tickler list… What part of Common Core is your biggest peeve?  This should be seen as the time all issues of Common Core can be mainstreamed into the news feed quite possible across the nation….

Be there or Be Square…..  forever pull out your hair….

(oh… and the official footware will be……   gym shoes…..)