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Often battles are fought in far away places.  On the edges of the known world but their win or loss has ramifications for all civilization.. On can think back through history and see many examples of the fact.  Rome’s fate was decided not in Rome, but the extreme edges of their known world….

The 8th is a battle between the incumbent Dave Sokola and Republican challenger Meredith Chapman… It lies on the outer northwestern edge of the state, from west Newark up to Hockessin.

The incumbent Dave Sokola, it has recently come to light, is in favor of using data and tacking it on a child in preschool and running that file through his life.  Data is a mine and support of such, ties one to very wealthy interests…

Here is what Dave Sokola has secretly been writing into Delaware’s code to align us to in regards to education…

“Currently,  Section 134 of the Federal Higher Education Act wisely prohibits the development, implementation, or maintenance of a federal student unit-record system (one that would allow the government to collect personally identifiable information (PII) on individual higher-education students and link education data to workforce data)”.

Interests both nationally and through Dave Sokola are seeing to overturn that….

First, it would compile students’ personally identifiable information (PII) without their consent – or even their knowledge that their data is being collected and disclosed…

Second, the purposes of the proposed system would be so open-ended that the repository is certain to be expanded over time to centralize data far beyond collegiate and employment data….

Third, the idea that this massive repository of PII will be protected against unauthorized access and data breaches is quite simply delusional….

Those behind Dave Sokola argue thusly:  think how much more efficiently our nation could operate, and how much more the government could help people run their own lives, if it maintained a centralized repository tracking almost every conceivable data point about every citizen – where he attended school, what courses he took, what grades he earned, what extracurricular record (good or bad) he compiled, what jobs he applied for, what jobs he got, what salary he made, whether he was promoted, what salary he earned in his new position, whether he lost his job and why, whether he joined the military, what sort of military record he established, whether he was arrested and for what, whether he went to jail, and on and on ad infinitum.

This is not a description of a free and open United States of America. This is a description of a totalitarian society that keeps tabs on its own citizens…

Who among us would be hired if this information had been available on us at critical points in our life’s journey?

Which is why longterm thinking Americans have united in supporting Meredith Chapman for Senate against Dave Sokola in  Delaware’s 8th District.

This it not politics as usual… This is about the future of a free America.

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

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

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

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

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

But what about the great and prestigious Academy of Dover?

Kevin tells us… 

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

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

So… Here is the bottom line….

IF……

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

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

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

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

 

charter-schools-roll-out-thc-manufacturing

Just released from a top secret Charter meeting between the principal players in this state as well as several larger corporations and the US Department of Education, is a new tactic that may actually be worth keeping Charters afloat in order to run this course to see if it would make a difference….

The plan is to allow pot smoking at all charter schools.  I know, but this is crazy enough to work… Follow the logic first and then make up you mind at the end.

A)  Charter’s Don’t Have To Follow Any Rules

Charter Schools are not bound by rules that public schools must follow.  This would make them the perfect laboratory in which to mix the placid effects of THC and the brilliance of unlocking the most powerful computer in the world, the human mind.

B)  Charter Schools Can Have Independent Financial Sources Other Than State Funding…

Originally designed so religions could put money into them, and later could investors as well, Charter Schools are allowed to have other funding methods than that of the taxpayer in that district.  So Charter Schools could fund themselves by selling marijuana on the open market, even becoming dispensaries of the medical version.  As we have seen in Colorado, this generates huge amounts of income… Period… Did I say HUGE?  The amount of money that goes towards marijuana is phenomenal and could certainly be tapped at Charter Schools to educate little children.  They could even sell to parents and offer in-school discounts just too keep enrollment levels up….

C)  Almost Everything Learned By  Everyone After Baby Boomers Was Learned Under The Influence Of Marijuana.

Whether as they retire these days, they were doctors, lawyers, policemen, government officials, priests, pastors, engineers, architects, MRI operators, Tractor Trailer haulers, fast food managers, grocery store cashiers, or DOE picks by Markell, the likelihood that everything they know was learned “under the influence” is remarkably high…

This means that it worked before, it can work again. People remember stuff when they take THC… Most children go through a whole day’s schooling and when you ask what they remember of it… they say… “nothing”… That can change instantaneously…   if we are truly concerned about retention, then we need THC-taking students absorbing full lessons..  immediately.  Charters are the best vehicle to accommodate that….

D)  Marijuana is cheap... when you take out the taxes and carrying costs for its former illegality.  it is essentially as cheap as grass… You know all those grass clippings you sweep up all summer?  Well, just as cheap as that to produce…  Schools could even grow their own and teach agri-economics to toddlers in a way even they could understand.   If one measures the profit that can be gleaned from something that costs nothing to produce, but will sell at stratospheric prices, one can readily see how Pot Producing Charters can pay for themselves and  full per student funding can remain in the resident public school districts as originally intended…

E)  School Should Be Fun.… grownups as well as children learn best when there is an emotional contingent enhancing their learning.  Play is important for small children because that is where 99% of their learning comes from… The other 1% is from Mom or Dad scolding them.   THC learning is pretty fun… At least from the stories Baby Boomers have been circulating since the early seventies, and the Beatniks from before that, one would think THC learning is the way to go…   Although public schools have too many restrictions and would require extensive political conditioning of the populace, as mention in the first section (A) above, charters not being bound by any rules could implement it immediately….

Bottom line should be about improving education… Charter Schools have completely failed America over the past 25 years of their implementation…  They are in the process of being shut down nationwide along the same way one would turn out the calvary to pasture once assured we were in the age of mechanical warfare.  Anyone who has faith in Charter Schools as they currently are these days, is probably smoking something… And that ironically could be the saving grace of Charter Schools in America today… And if, hitting up the THC hookah before every class, benefits American education overall, making us all wise beyond the capacity of Yoda even, then the real reason is…. why not?

And Wall Street which has so heavily invested in Corporate Run education?  They could invest in hemp farms instead….   It’s a Win, Win, Win situation where no one can ever lose, Lose, Lose….

It has my endorsement.  This is not satire. It is a serious proposition thought up in a late night meeting Saturday night and early Sunday morning by Delaware’s principal educational players and its Charter School Network…   who for whatever reason, may have gotten a good “hit” on the right solution….

Dave Sokola Cough Cough Darrell Issa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Darrell Issa As The New Sokola

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is what happened……

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughable?  OF COURSE.  Bumbling?  OF COURSE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Many of you are being told the school taxes you pay are for nothing.  Though you pay taxes to your school district, none of that money comes back to you in any form.

That was the line-up leading to 1776 when our taxes were going to Britain.  It is the line-up in this anti-school campaign. It is a disruption campaign by special interests. And I am confident that once more—in 2016—democracy in taxation will win.

Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to the need of society to levy them. If you need to levy taxes, you do so.  If you don’t, you refrain from levying them….

Before the Republican-caused Recession in 2008,  Christina School District fought the corporate war (Joe Wise/Broad Institute) and that war put Christina $17 million dollars in the hole. We borrowed to pay off that war. Then, as now, the designated levies set decent levels of sufficient taxes to eventually pay off the entire debt and maintain those schools.

Those taxes had been levied according to the value of ones property which for the most part, is based on the owner’s ability to pay. But the opposing top-down run Republican Party players do not believe in that principle. There is a reason. They have political debts to those who sat at their elbows. Across the entire Federal government’s spectrum to pay those political debts, they reduced the taxes of their friends in the higher brackets and left the national debt to be paid by later generations. Because they evaded their obligation, because they regarded the political debt as more important than the national debt, the Repression of 2009 which they started, gave us a seventeen-trillion-dollar handicap on us and our children.

Now let’s keep this little drama straight. The actors are the same. But the act is different. Today their role calls for stage tears about paying pennies more to fund the necessary function of schools. But in the days of George W. Bush, they played a completely different part.

The moral of their play is clear. They got out from under taxes then, they would get out from under taxes now—if their friends could get back into power now and if they could get back to the driver’s seat. But neither you nor they, think that we are going to allow them back in and so they apply their efforts to defeating necessary referendums which we need to continue schooling our next generation.

As before the Republican Recession of 2009, we have again attempted to create a tax structure to yield revenues appropriately adequate to pay the cost of this war against ignorance of our children in this current generation, as well as the next.

New or increased taxes ARE needed to enable us to provide the most basic service. Christina, one of the most efficiently run districts in the nation, is struggling with a poverty inherent in its population. Educational recovery is with us, but funds are not. Federal revenues are decreasing; State revenues are decreasing; emergency expenditures are increasing. A balanced budget is outlayed every year. This year another one is on the way. Does that sound like bankruptcy or moral decay to you?

Why this increase in this district’s assessment of revenues? Because the very large property owners who lease or rent out the majority of the land in Newark and Bear, now earn more money and now spend more money. Though they are asked to pay more money in taxes, they have so much more money left for themselves and their families…

For the average property owner we they can expect minimal increases. Only those who OWN property will pay the increase… Those who own bigger properties will see a small increase; this is a small referendum.  Those who own small properties will probably not even notice unless they actually look to compare one year to the next.  Those who pay rent, and that is many of you reading this, will pay nothing.  That means that less than 11% percent of the heads of Christina’s families will pay $50 dollars more than they did; and more than 89 percent will, if they pay at all, see increases between 0 and 50 dollars. If you want the answer to this talk about high taxes under this current school board administration—there it is. Taxes are higher for those who can afford to pay high taxes. They are minimal for those who can afford to pay less. That is getting back again to the American principle—taxation according to ability to pay.

You would think, to hear some people talk, that those good people who live at the top of our economic pyramid are being taxed into rags and tatters. What is the fact? The fact is that they are much farther away from the poorhouse than they were in 2009. You and I know that as a matter of personal observation.

A number of my friends who belong in these very high upper brackets have suggested to me, more in sorrow than in anger, that if this levy is passed, they will have to move to some other Nation because of our high property taxes here. I shall miss them very much but if they go they will soon come back. For a year or two of paying taxes in any other country in the world will make them yearn once more for the good old taxes of the U.S.A.  We have the lowest taxes anywhere on our wealthy. Far too low if you ask me.

One more word on recent history. Not only did this district inherited from the current state Administration, the full cost for imposing an expensive governor’s testing regime into every school, a mistake which placed a revenue burden on providing lower-income economic families living in this district with the very basics of education, but it has also been fraught with an unfair burdens by the governor and DOE, designed not to improve the quality of student’s knowledge, but to flip it over to a zone primarily ripe for the influx of schools FOR-PROFIT.

Christina’s local operating tax receipts are reduced by payments to Charter Schools and to other districts providing educational services to resident students.  Local revenues provide 41% of the district’s budget.

Before the Republican caused recession of 2008-9, fifty-eight per cent out of every dollar of the districts cost came from the state as per our General Assembly.  That is now down to 51%… In order to make the top echelon and friends of the Republican Party pay less in state income taxes as the economy recovers, you, the lower level citizens are now being asked to pay more just to maintain the minimum level of expense….

Before asking you to pay more, the district has cut all fat out of their budget.  Christina has 98% of all salaried dollars directly impacting students either in the building or transportation. It is running two principals short. It has the lowest level of administrators to student in the nation.  Due to last year’s defeat by special interests, 90 teachers were cut and average class sizes swelled from 20 to 30 per room.

This year we had to find new revenues to meet the immediate educational requirements. This new tax increase is merely an extension of the old property tax law and a plugging-up of the loopholes in it, loopholes which could be used only by men of very large incomes.

I want to say a word to you average homeowners who are being flooded by propaganda about this tax—propaganda, incidentally, paid for by your money. It is being disseminated by those who have used corporations in the past to build up their own economic power, who seek by holding back your vote to raise the levels, to keep down their taxes.

It is a fact that 89 percent of all those assessed will suffer less then a 50 dollar increase. Some none. Some a dollar. Some two. Some more.

It is a fact that the new revenue only returns the district back to the basest minimum required level necessary for complying with the standards of education set by the state and Federal government.

What we are concerned with primarily is principle, and the principle of this law, taxing local property to fund their local schools, is sound. If in its application imperfections are discovered, and they have been over time, they must be corrected for the good of American taxpayers and America’s students.

I am certain that the average of our citizenship is not taken in by the amazing amount of tax misinformation which has been turned loose in this political campaign.

People tell you the district is top heavy. But stop, look and listen. You will find what the propagandists do not tell you: is that this district is the most efficient in the nation. You will find that this district loses $20 million per year in payments to Charter Schools. Though the allowance of Charter-Schools is bad policy, unfortunately special interests have kept them still legal. That cost has to be made up.  You will find this district is forced to jump thorough more hoops required by the DOE than any district outside of East Los Angeles. You will be surprised at the unbelievable pressure put on it to fail, just so private for-profit companies can swoop in and collect all the money you currently pay, without giving back different results.  You will find these propagandists are not up-front with the truth. You will find they are purposefully trying to discredit your district’s schools to purposefully deflate your property values so they can buy you out when you leave for a song. .  They are against good schools for we all know, good schools inflate property values…

Hence backers of the Republican Party at its very top, have something to do with defeating this referendum. Whether in Greenville, Kent, or Sussex County, far from the actual district itself, they have flooded your zip codes with false and misleading propaganda (often with made-up names invoking “Liberty”), both in print and robo-calls calling for the defeat of the referenda. If it fails, it WILL make it easier for them to take over your schools and pocket your property tax money in the process. .. These referenda are at the request of those local districts for whom the local revenue burden has become too heavy. Voters upon looking clearly at the costs of either a YEA or NAY action, should assumed the cost of paying small amounts in the immediate future, outweigh the entire district’s financial collapse, outweigh its inability to fulfill their function,and outweigh the plummeting property values of everyone affected.

For the most part, the overwhelming majority of small time business men are like the rest of us. All of us whether we earn wages, run farms or run businesses are in one sense business men. All we seek and all they seek is a fair assessment based on the greater good for the greater number—fair play on the part of our Government in levying taxes and fair play on the part of our Government in protecting our children against financial abuses by those with large pocketbooks..

It is the special privileged who have no concern for your children, your property values, your well being. It is the special privileged who are behind this propaganda to scare you into playing right into their hands.  Like Mr. Potter in It’s A Wonderful Life, they keep their heads while you lose yours..

Once more this year we must choose between true democracy in taxation versus capitulating to the special interests in taxation. Are you willing to turn the control of your school’s taxes back to special privilege?

I know the American answer to that question. Your emails, mailboxes, and texts may be loaded with suggestions of fear, and your party’s official line of communication may be filled with propaganda. But the American people will be neither bluffed nor bludgeoned.

The seeds of fear cannot bear fruit in the polling booth.

Inside the polling booth every American man and woman stands as the equal of every other American man and woman. There they have no superiors. There they have no masters save their own minds and consciences. There they are sovereign American citizens. There on March 23rd they will not fear to exercise the sovereignty.of the American People over special interests.

Here is a teachers idea of how Common Core should be taught… ie, close reading of a text…

It is broken down into three readings… Reading one, Reading two, and Reading three.  To show grownups what this does to the joy of reading, another  Nancy Bailey (no relation to George) last year took the classic The Night Before Christmas, and after each paragraph, inserted the criteria required to teach in Common Core.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

STOP!

The First Reading

What is the main idea?
Summarize the passage I just read.
Do you have questions about what I read?
What did you hear?
What is this about?

The Second Reading

What text structures and text features were used?
What is the author’s purpose?
How does the author feel about the subject?
Why did the author use particular words and phrases?

The Third reading

What Inferences can you make?
How does the author support key points?
How does this relate to other texts you’ve read?
How does this relate to your life?
How does the author support key points?

——

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

STOP!

The First Reading

What is the main idea?
Summarize what I just read.
Do you have questions about what I read?
What did you hear?
What is this about?

The Second Reading

What text structures and text features were used?
What is the author’s purpose?
How does the author feel about the subject?
Why did the author use particular words and phrases?

The Third reading

What Inferences can you make?
How does the author support key points?
How does this relate to other texts you’ve read?
How does this relate to your life?
How does the author support key points?

=====

She ruins the entire poem.

Now, besides the irritability of having to stop one’s train of thought every stanza… look at some of the required discussion questions..

What is the main idea?….  Answer… Everyone was asleep… Do we really need to dissect a poem to infinity and beyond to understand that it is about late night when everyone is tired and going to sleep?

Duh.  Really how much more can we learn about everyone being asleep, something obviously heard and understood at first reading, by discussing it excessively in class?  Does this make children smarter and able to read better at some future point? Or does it teach them to play video games all day at home and not read at all?  Obviously it does the latter.

Another question:  what text structures and text features are used?  Excuse me… what is a ….. text structure…   How in hell have I been able to read and write my entire life without knowing what a…. “text structure” is?  Oh, of course I can guess… by saying the too obvious…

“Excuse me, teacher, is it the structure of the text?”

“Why very good kavips, you nailed it exactly… The text structure is the structure of the text”….

“Ma’am?”

“Why yes little kavips.”

“So how is this text structured, can we see it?  What supports what, like on a bridge?  You know how the bottom holds up the top?  So where is the structure in this?”

“I’m sorry, little kavips… no one knows… You see English is a living language changing every day, and if there was structure that was too tight, it couldn’t change… ”

“But what IS the structure, can you explain it to me?”

“No. it is unexplainable. It IS after all, Common Core”

====

In the old days we used to diagram sentences.  That was visual and real and very helpful in understanding adverbs and participial phrases.  We don’t do that any more… All we get is one teacher’s goofy definition of structure she pulls of the top of her head since it is never explained, which is different from all other teacher’s definitions of structure.. So much for “one” curriculum.

—-

Whereas this curriculum may have a place in some specialized field of literary English criticism, perhaps Harvard…  the intellectual movement that Common Core’s ELA forces on children, “only focus on the text”, was debunked as a critical movement back in 1949.. The world has moved on…

All but David Coleman, the founder of Common Core.

Dare you. Read the poem all the way through, answer every question. (No adult will, but yet we thrust it on our children because they have no power of complaint) … then, opt out your child so Common Core disappears after this year and your children again can learn that learning about what is cool, is fun.

In the meantime, next year (2016) pay attention to our General Assembly.

Look for a:

Bill to replace the Smarter Balanced Assessment

Bill to replace Common Core  curriculum with Delaware’s own standards.

Bill to fund Charter School by line items in state budgets and not allow them to steal money from good public schools and bad.

Bill to minimize Standard test results to only 5% weight on a teachers evaluation, making it a factor of no consequence except in borderline cases.

Bill to raise taxes only on  the top 1% of the state’s revenue earners, to be used to fill in budget gaps looming so large they call loudly for drastic cuts, all unnecessary if taxes just get raised on the top one percent…

 

 

 

 

Having a positive mindset in math may do more than just help students feel more confident about their skills and more willing to keep trying when they fail; it may prime their brains to think better.

Of the children in the study, 47 were asked to either stare at a fixed point or identify whether a series of addition problems were correct while being scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, a noninvasive method of identifying brain activity by measuring changes in blood flow in the brain.

Professor Chen and his colleagues found that students with higher positive-mindset levels in math were more accurate at identifying correct and incorrect math problems, even after controlling for differences in IQ, age, working memory, reading ability, and math anxiety.

A lower positive-mindset level was likewise associated with lower math performance….

Students with high positive-mindset levels had generally greater brain activity in a number of areas of the brain associated with math problem-solving: the hippocampus, the left dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, the left supplementary motor area, the right lingual gyrus, and the dorsal cerebellum. In particular, the researchers found faster, smoother connections, called “upregulation” between the hippocampus—an area often associated with the ability to quickly remember math facts and processes—and the other brain areas associated with math problem-solving.

Common Core is designed to give children a lower positive-mindset level.. That is its whole purpose.  Take children struggling to jump over a 3 foot high jump, raise the bar to 5 feet, berate the children on their performance, and fire the coach because the same number who could jump a 3 foot high jump, couldn’t muster the 5 foot one…

How does that make a child feel.  How does that make you feel?

Hence their focus on rigor and grit.  Nicer words than “child torture”, I’ll admit, but still having the same meaning…

This study suggests that the wiring of our brains is such that when we have a positive mental attitude, we perform better….

Duh…

But at least there is a study now that has data to prove it… The corporate education reformers who suggest  that having a prison-like atmospheres in their schools, who are keen on making little children suffer, who get so excited they perspire when they talk of failing 70% of America’s students…  still have zero evidence that their solution has ever borne results… All they have is theory.

So now, we evidence that backs common sense; evidence that debunks Common Core… It’s lightweight. It’s the first.  But still it is evidence that pursuing the Smarter Balanced Assessments past 2016, will drop Delaware even lower in Math than it is already….

It is ironical that on the NAEP, often called the nation’s report card… recently in the news for its collapse and the negative direction its results .. did have bright spots that continued the historical gains the NAEP had always shown up until now…  .but they came from states not doing Common Core… Those states jumping into Common Core most aggressively (Delaware is one) had the greatest losses over 2013….

So evidence is mounting… Common Core is bad.  Smarter Balanced Assessments take us in the wrong direction, and the only reason we went down this path, was because someone connected with it was going to get rich one day….

(or get mentioned on Chuck Todd broadcast as a person-to-be-watched.)

 

 

 

 

 

We know what works.  Corporate Reform tried to sell us on it until they realized they would make less money at it, and begin cutting back….

  • Establish an 11:1 student-teacher ratio in ALL schools k-5 where the poverty level is over 50%….
  • Group those 11 students by their similar abilities… (use test scores)  Take the top 11, then second top 11, the third and go down through the entire grade…
  • Group up to 3 groups in same classroom, each with their own teacher.  That could be 33 students in the same social setting.
  • Make each teacher accountable for teaching basics to those 11 children… Some of the 11 will need more attention than the others.  But each child is ranked against his own potential, and not against fellow students.  Accept that some will learn more than others (obvious),  but our goal is to give EACH child their opportunity to excel to the best of their abilities.
  • Make Charter School Funding  a line item in state budgets…  The sales line should go like this…. “We want to try this experiment on students involving our unique twist and want $10 million of state dollars to implement”.  This would force the questions that usually occur when one says “invest money in me” that prevent a lot of wasted investment. Currently granting charters only hurts those students in public schools and no one else.  The state eventually winds up being charged for the damage failed charters cost… So put the costs up front by saying “here is your money;  we’pull it in one year if no results.”

Finally we all need to accept that taxes need to be raised on the top one percent.  We are by a long shot the richest nation on earth; it is just that all those riches are now going to 1500 families who already own 50% of America’s wealth… Simply putting higher marginal rates on all income coming in at esoteric rates, would go a long way to bettering America as a whole,

It should go like this….

  • After reaching $40 million in income the tax rates jump to 50%. (first championed by Ronald Reagan)
  • After reaching $400 million they jump to 60%.
  • After reaching $4 billion they jump to 70%….
  • After reaching $40 billion they jump to 80%….
  • And reaching $400 billion, they hit 90%….

It becomes every corporate executives’ duty not to make $400 billion each year…

(As a reminder this means only that they pay higher rates on income over that amount… Income under that amount they pay rates the same as they do now… Which would mean no change on the first $40 million.  Just that once that threshold got crossed, every new dollar earned they would allow them to keep 50 cents instead of  the 60+ cents they currently amass… No real loss if you are making over $40 million.)

These subtle changes would rectify and electrify education. These subtle changes would fulfill the dream of public education where every child has the same opportunity to learn. These subtle changes would give every American child an equal stake in the country into which they were born….

And they are all subtle changes.  Most of America would never feel their cost; only experience their benefit…..  and it is very easy to implement.  Just get rid of those politicians who favor corporations over real people…. Like Earl Jacques. Like Dave Sokola.  And Pete Schwartzkopf.