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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….

He lost. The teacher who was number one in the state before having her children tested, who then failed her evaluation after having her tested children scored by the state, whereas the both years’ children’s scores were practically identical, has won.  She was deemed to have been treated unfairly by the VAM test developed by then head of New York’s Public Education John King, now the new Secretary of Education for the US.

The judge was clear.  The teacher had a high bar to reach to prove her low evaluation was based on solely on actions “taken without sound basis of reason or regard to the facts”.

To this she proved…“.In sum, the court found the petitioner has met her burden of establishing that her growth score and rating on for 2013-14 was indisputably arbitrary and capricious.”

The decision should qualify as the persuasive authority for other teachers challenging growth scores throughout the country.  The positive outcome of this decision was in part due to the expert testimony of the following, whom I’ll include here for future lawsuits to reference.

Professor Darling-Hammond,

Professor Pallas,

Professor Amrein-Beardsley,

Professor Sean Corcoran

Professor Jesse Rothstein 

(Please click the links for contact references)…

New York Supreme Court Judge Roger McDonough stated his decision was strictly for this case and he could not go beyond it to rule all evaluations “null and void”, because the evaluation process has since been changed.  But even so, this is the first time a judge has ruled that tying evaluations to a standardized test is “arbitrary and capricious”.  There are 49 other states out there who right now, all need their own court case to lock this bad policy in a casket six feet deep where it belongs….

Standardized tests do not belong in an evaluation process.


This search was spawned by the letter (that Kevin put up) of damage control by the current US Secretary of Education to head off the firestorm that his pet project (the increase of numbers of charters) created as it burns its way up to his door

It is a grave admission that the original idea of charters…( ie. give money to people who know nothing about education, … and don’t look to see how they will spend it, and we’ll all have great schools…). is a complete failure.

For guess what’s happening?  Everybody is stealing the free money.

With hindsight we can look back and say what in the hell were they thinking?  How can anyone give money to every panhandler asking for it, and expect result better than the experts are already delivering?  But that is exactly what was done…

And anyone who today defends charters in this age of enlightenment, is an enemy of the state.  Well, at the very minimum, they are an enemy of every parent of school-aged children in that state.  For unless a charter does exemplary, unless it is totally amazing and its students excel like not others, it is a net drain on the entire system from which it steals students and money ….

If the charter school IS as good as I described above,  charters still go on to hurt 4 people for every 1 they help… Now if that charter turns out to be no better than the public school (which is almost always the case), then every 5 out of 5 students are hurt whenever a charter opens up in their district.

This is not new info.  Gubernatorial candidate Jack Markell uttered the exact same himself, in a WDEL sponsored debate against John Carney and Mike Protack back in 2008…

But this may be news to you because you have been habitually lied to by the charter school network, by Rodel, and where most of us saw this over the history of the last 25 years, the News Journal… 

(Screw it, enough preface…)

How much do you really know about charters?

Charter schools in Texas show less progress in both reading and mathematics compared to their district school peers. This shortfall in learning can be equated to a student losing about 14 days of learning in reading and 29 days of learning in math based on an 180‐day school year.

In Ohio, 44 percent of the charter schools in reading and 48 percent in math have low levels of absolute achievement and low yearly increments of academic growth for the school years studied. On average charter school students in Ohio have less learning in a year than their district school peers. This shortfall in learning can be equated to a student losing about 14 days of learning in reading and 43 days in math based on a hypothetical 180-day school year.

In California on average, charter students in California did gain an additional 14 days of learning in reading over their district school peers, but lag behind their district school peers by 14 days of learning in math. This is a 7 day increase over the last study done in 2009, primarily due to the failure of many poor and mediocre charters. Most of that gain came from Hispanic students, especially those in poverty who did better in charters than their public school peers, by a sizable amount.

In New Orleans where the inner city all-charter district skims off 80 percent of the public school students, the results on paper appear better. Still, even then, only 50 percent of New Orleans charter schools have significantly more positive learning gains than their district school peers in reading and 56 percent in math. Which means that despite having 85% of the top students, those public schools having 20% of the worst students, are keeping up 50-50 with New Orlean’s Charters.

Nationally 25 percent of charter schools have significantly larger learning gains inreading (than their next door public schools), while 29 percent do so in math.

Which means that 75% (ELA) and 71% (Math) of public schools are as good, or better than their charter counterparts…..

Nineteen percent of charter schools have results that are significantly worse thantheir district school peers in reading and 31 percent do so in math.

Which means Charters are imposing on 2 out of 10 American students in reading (by holding them back), and 3 out of every ten students in math….

Most startling was the reason for the Charter gap closing……

Charters in the original 16 states (2009 study) have made modest progress in raising student performance in both reading and mathematics, caused in part by the closure of 8 percent of the charters in those states in the intervening years since the 2009 report as well as declining performance in the comparison traditional public schools over the same period. The public school decline in this study was principally due to increased funding constraints imposed on public schools as the charters stole their students.

So as we’ve been saying here all along, this study verifies that the entire population is getting dumber because of our allowing charter schools to steal money away from public schools.

There are two ways to fix this… Ban charters and let public schools take them over, or…. fund charters strictly by line items in each state’s budget and leave the per-student funding formulas to continue to flow to the feeder public schools….

Either way. But do it now. Children grow. They wait for no one.

Any time I get to up up some of America’s best prose…. I will never hesitate to do so…  Featured on Exceptional Delaware

Charter schools, most of the time, are started by people who have read about this cool educational theory or idea that is working somewhere else (sometimes even an exclusive private school who aren’t beholden to state tests and CCSS and who can pick and choose their students and expel whoever they want…) and think it would be great to get an awful lot of grants and tax money to create a “public school” in the same model. These people are usually not educators who know better and who actually have experience with real live students. Even if these charter school founders aren’t corporate reformers trying to line their pockets with tax dollars, it takes more than good intentions and a good idea to run a school. I feel sorry, first, for the students, and second for those poor teachers who are trying to teach and earn a living under an unprepared and probably unqualified administration. Been there, done that…won’t ever do it again..

What part of again do our governor, Secretary of Education, lobbyists, and legislators not understand?


Child Safety —  Everything must be done to protect students and keep them safe and psychologically healthy.

Learning —  The brain learns on its own.  It learns what is most interesting to it.  If you put interesting books before it, it learns books. If you put interesting videos, it learns videos.  If an interesting student sits in front, it learns about that student. Learning cannot be measured except by a teacher who knows that child.

Social Engagement —  We are social animals…  We learn from each other.  The more different we are in a classroom, the more every one learns and a better and more stable society is seeded.  Schools need play time and time to allow socialization to naturally occur on its own.

Self confidence —  The sign of adult maturity is self confidence.  Confidence is built by becoming comfortable with one’s environment.  Those graduating should after 12 years be confident they have the tools they need to prosper as adults.


These are the classical four pillars of education.  Originally formulated by the Greeks who themselves borrowed from many conquered civilizations.  In some ways they were wiser than us.  For just as we can learn and predict a computer game’s behavior by watching it over and over, they looked at human behavior over and over.   These are the four traits our founding fathers were given in their schooling.  These were the four traits the greatest generation grew strong upon.  These are what developed the Baby Boomers…

Ask yourself…. how does taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment augment and improve a student’s stature in any of these categories?

Now if teaching does instill them, and the Smarter Balanced takes away from teaching…. wouldn’t it make sense to get rid of the Smarter Balanced Assessment?

They were 39 days late… but we got them… The preliminary Smarter Balanced Assessments….

The big takeaway was:  is that all there is to it?

We’ve been arguing over this for 4 years.  (I’ve been doing it for 3). We’ve spent $119 million dollars of Race To The Top Money to bring this to fruition. And we’ve been promised so much good would come from this test that we had no choice BUT to go forward with it…

But looking at the scores, it is the same as it ever was….  Nothing changed.  Kids didn’t learn more. Kids may have learned less. If one takes the word of students and teachers, each student spent 8 hours taking this test spread over an average of 3.25 days…

At 70,000 Delawarean students taking the test, a total of 560,000 learning hours were spent on this actual test… One has to ask if that is worth the cost…

Over half a million hours were spent on this test…  just so we can fire teachers.  Is that the best use of our students time?  Or should every parent be concerned with this, and insist that we return to the DCAS, one which took far less time and unlike this test, gave teachers feedback they could give students immediately afterwards.

Because we all know.

If experts say 8 years olds should be able to jump over a 3 foot high bar and you raise it to 5 feet, you are going to have fewer successful jumps… So anyone who says “see, how terrible education is today?: by looking at these scores, needs to be laughed out, ridiculed, and then ignored….  Because they don’t mean anything… Nothing at all.

The real question that needs to be asked is this…  By raising the bar to 5 feet, did more people jump over the 3 foot bar then before…  That data would tell us if this program was a success or failure…

But we don’t have that data… All we know is that fewer people “passed” because we made “passing” beyond the capabilities of all but our most developed and well trained….

So.. parents… is this truly worth $119 million dollars?  So teachers…. is this truly worth $119 million dollars… So administrators… is this truly worth $119 million dollars?

Money that was taken from reading coaches that the Minner administration placed in every school.  Money that was taken from math coaches that the Minner administration placed in every school.  Money that was taken from having a policeman in every school…  Money that was taken from supplying classrooms.  Money that was taken from extra curricular activities.  Money that was taken from the libraries.  Money that was taken away from field trips. Money that was taken away…  .. from you… After all, it is your money now being spent on this…

Did you get all the worth over what you paid?   Are your kids Smarter?  Do they seem more balanced?

If yes, we can’t knock the program … It appears to have worked… But if no, then as many of us have pointed out, this is a boondoggle of epic proportions….

So, when you looked over the preliminaries… did you too say…. “Is that all there is?

Someone is getting rich… somewhere…

Flag Over Delaware Capitol

He vetoed HB 50. Vetoing Opt Out sets segregation back to 1956…….  One could possible see a future Governor Charlie Copeland becoming the new George Wallace… But Governor Markell?   Vetoing a bill that segregates, then under-funds black schools worse than they were in Alabama of the 50’s?  And doing it over a  crushing 14-7 Senate vote and a 36-3 House vote in favor?

When all other states are FINALLY taking down the Rebel Flag,  Delaware is preparing to make itself ready to raise theirs …… Look around.  The signs are all around you….

The entire NEA at their convention in Orlando just voted for this…

The NEA will work within existing infrastructureto engage and leverage our currentpartnerships with parents and familiesto support a national opt out/test refusalmovement NEA Business Item 115

It would be wise for our governor to consider this if he he’s possibly thinking about not singing HB 50… He will now have all teachers and their students’ parents glaring over every new initiative he hopes to propose between now and the end of his term… With no signing, we can effectively call them all dead on arrival..

The entire premise behind statistics is that they tend to show us how our kids are doing on standardized tests…  But do they show us if our kids are learning?

Recently US News and World Report ranked high schools in New York… It erred.  It treated all tests as the same, yet New York has two types of testing… basic and proficiency.

Imagine if your old bar set was at 4 feet… which 90% at a certain age can jump over.  Imagine you raise the bar to 5 feet meaning only 50% of those would make it over.. And imagine it you wanted to push your top athletes so you raised the bar to 6 feet for those with intensive training….

What US News and World Report did, was simply take the success rates and compare them without accounting for differentials in test difficulty… The top notch schools which had very few people clearing the 6 foot bar scored less well than lesser schools which had a higher success level because they only had to jump 5 feet.  Yet all those in the 6 feet schools could clear 5 feet at no problem…..

So when the listing came out, you had the equivalent of Wilmington Charter Schools with a lower score than Brandywine High School’s remedial labs.  People went “Huh”?  Same in New York.  For you see, statistics reveal a lot, but hide the most important parts… Is a child learning.

The same fallacy lies in testing… Standardized testing… and it’s particulars get aggravated as one pushes against the extreme…

The original idea of standardized testing is based on its name:  can students function in our society by meeting society’s minimum standard?…   The questions were easy.. Those meeting the minimum were passed; we had an accurate description of who would need additional help to function going onward, and those smart could relish their high scores and pat themselves on their backs for a good 12 years of education well spent….

Now that is all up in the air… We made the test a lot harder so fewer and fewer people can pass it… And what does that tell us?  Very little about what we need to know…   If a person fails.. were they very low; medium low-low, medium low, medium, medium high, or medium high-high?   We don’t know. and so we get this gigantic morph that simply is not high or very high.. including 70-80% of the population…

We still know who the highest scorers are.. But we knew that before… Of what we now know more, is who in that very high group was very high, medium high-high, medium high, medium, medium low, medium low-low, and just low…. The data we get back is equivalent when getting change back from a dollar spent, requiring cashiers to always give back 10 pennies when two nickels or a dime would do, justifying that it makes the customer physically more aware he was getting change back, or something as equally psychologically weird….

It is obvious this benefits NO student whatsoever…  just like being forced to always get at least ten pennies back with every cash transaction, benefits no customer whatsoever… Both are for internal purposes only…. One to gather data to fire amazingly good teachers who could otherwise teach their lifetimes; and the other:  to get rid of all the rolls of pennies someone accidentally bought and have been sitting in the store safe forever……

But are the children learning?  With the Smarter Balanced test… we will never know… But based on the NAEP tests given every two years, then yes, our children are learning, and learning more in each grade as time progresses.  Our teachers have made very steady improvement, which until Common Core dismantled all the good programs, was on track to continue as far as the eye could see…

Plus, teachers in the classroom giving their own tests and daily interacting with students, have a far greater pool to access the answer to whether a student is learning, than a labyrinth developed by corporate shills in a stale hotel banquet hall in DC, then tweaked by David Coleman… a man who at the time, never had been around young children to see how they learn…

The Smarter Balanced Test is a travesty really… one that fails to perform its basic duty andshow us the most important part of education:  did the child learn…………………..



Grading the Governors

Courtesy of Education Weekly

Click Image to enlarge and you will see that Delaware is one island of orange in a sea of green.  Our neighbors by dragging their feet on educational reform and slowing the advent of Common Core, were able to stem the tide better than us, who against all expert opinion rushed headfirst into Common Core curriculum and it has cost us.

Name one family of executives who looking at this map, would still want to settle in Delaware?  In Cecil County? Maybe. In Salem County? Maybe.  In Chester County?  Maybe… But certainly not any of Delaware’s three counties unless only it was absolutely necessary.

This downward slide was predicted and is now upon us.  Notice Kentucky, which rushed into Common Core.  Notice Tennessee, the other Race To The Top Winner.  Notice Florida, which is undergoing Jeb Bush’s reforms.

Compare that to states that did not jump on Common Core.  Wyoming. Minnesota, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut…

If you want exact proof that Common Core is the sole reason that the slippage occurred, notice Rhode Island, once green is now, like Delaware… orange… Both state’s secretaries sat on the board of Chiefs for Change… Both were gung-ho in their implementation of Common Core.

These are the real results.  These are not speculation.  Common Core is destroying the very fabric of education… states following it are crashing and burning; states that said “no thank you, we’ll see how it works first”, are doing just fine…

This is Sokola’s and Jacques’ fault.  The governor often criticized, is just an enabler.  These two wrote the legislation that pulled the rugs out from underneath Delaware’s parents. Delaware’s teachers, and Delaware’s schools… Those two individuals, are responsible for the entire slide of Delaware’s educational excellence shown on this map…

To get ourselves back in line with our peers we need to do the following.

  • Eliminate the Smarter Balanced Assessment.
  • Eliminate all Common Core Curriculum attachments
  • Eliminate Dave Sokola and Earl Jacques in 2016.