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Lavelle said he’ll use the attorney general’s feedback to determine whether there are loopholes regarding theft of public funds and whether state laws need to be changed.”

Of course there are loopholes in the law… It is called Chapter 5 in Title 14… subheading… “Charter Schools”…

If you give schools total freedom to control all their money and disallow any oversight by anyone, then whatever they do with it,  is legal…  You gave them the freedom to do that.. Below is the quote:

To that end, this chapter offers members of the community a charter to organize and run independent public schools, free of most state and school district rules and regulations governing public education, as long as they meet the requirements of this chapter, and particularly the obligation to meet measurable standards of student performance. Schools established under this chapter shall be known as “charter schools.”

continued…..

Consistent with its charter and the provisions of its certificate of incorporation, bylaws or membership agreements, the board of directors of a charter school or schools shall, as to each charter that the board holds, have the power to:

(2) Determine its own budget and operating procedures;

Meaning if any charter feels it needs to have a Mercedes for its head honcho in order to compete with Tower Hill or Sanford, it can do so.

Though what these operators did was immoral and a theft of public funds for private use, they did not break the law… because the law is so poorly written it allows this……

Which is why, we need to fund charters only with line items in the state budget, for then different rules apply and we can try in court and punish those who unlike these… “actually” broke a law….

Title 14, Chapter 5, is very specific: stating that Charters can use the funds anyway they wish and laws preventing such, imposed on public school s by their districts, do not apply to them…..

Which is why it is rather funny that Greg Lavelle said this…. as a charter supporter….  He apparently doesn’t know that is what a charter is.

 

 

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With testing almost upon us, it is time for our leaders to step up and tell parents it is ok not to have their child take the test.  There is no law requiring parents not to opt out.  Furthermore, there is a law on the floor allowing for parents to have the right to opt out.  School boards across this state are considering measures in all 19 districts on whether or not to “encourage” the opting out of students from taking these tests….

It is time our elected officials do the same.  Parents need to know they will not be punished for opting out. The best way for that to occur, is for elected officials, in charge of deciding state law, to say this test is bullsh/t and all parents should not let their kids take it…

The best and most credible spokesperson to accomplish this is none other than Greg Lavelle.. His switched-vote last June 30th around 9:30 pm, was the deciding factor that allowed this test to go forward….  When he voted against it; the bill was defeated… minutes after getting a phone call from Gov. Markell he voted for it; it passed….

Greg Lavelle actually has children in the category who are hurt by this test.  All exceptional children will be grievously set back by this test.  This test goes against human nature.  When you have children who are flatly unable to meet regular adult standards, forcing them to try fully knowing the outcome, is cruel and inhumane.

Expressed this way it is clear.  Making children who will be playing soccer to run miles in order to build up stamina, may be deemed as cruel by some outside of sport, but it is often done and the children do grow stamina through the routine and develop new muscles.   But….. making children who have no legs be forced to run a mile, with no wheel chair, no artificial limbs, no accessories, is cruel and inhumane.

The Smarter Balanced Test, and this came directly out of the mouths of Mark Murphy and Penny Schwinn, is designed to not use accommodations for children with special needs.  “They want to see how bad they fail”, was the direct quote.

The humane measure of education would be to say:  let’s see where in society we can put these people so they can lead productive lives.  Mark Murphy, Penny Schwinn, Dave Sokola, and all those who voted in support of the Smarter Balanced Assessment, take the opposite tack:  let us see where in society these people can never fit in, by giving them a test they cannot possibly do well upon… like making Stumpy there run miles on his two tiny stumps. Betchu he won’t get two feet?

One philosophy brings out the best of human behavior; the other exposes the worst.

Now Greg has taken his own children at this point, laid them on the cross and bound their hands and feet to the wooden crossbars…. Right now, before the huge railroad spikes get driven in to their tiny hands and tiny feet, is the time for him to scream out:  “STOP!  This is a mistake.  We should not do this to children for any reason….. ”

Greg as the sole person who was first against the Smarter Balanced Assessment, and then was somehow persuaded to be for it, is the perfect human being to now stand up and say… “Wait, I was wrong. I was very wrong. I was lied to.  This is a terrible test… This ruins children including my children!  You all must opt out…”

For someone who has always been against this test to say “You all!  Opt out!” would be welcome but realistically would change little.  Those on the fence would say:  “There he goes again; he’s always been against the test; of course that is what he is going to say”…  But, for someone who was once on record for it in a very public way, to pivot, switch his support, and call for public action to boycott the test being taken, would send giant ripples through the state….

He has special children.  So with what we know from Penny Schwinn and Mark Murphy, we know in heart that both he and his wife have to be against it.

Greg Lavelle has confided to those who asked him what he was thinking last June, that he was told that the DOE was going forward with the test whether he voted for it or not… (Just like it is going forward with the privatization of 6 schools despite whatever policies the two districts came up with) …

Imagine if you are attacked by a bamboozler.  In the struggle you take away his gun.  Everyone cheers… Then he cries tears and complains that is his only gun, and how he needs it to shoot food for his family’s table… So you give it back to him?

Greg needs to decide his future.  Is it being the obsequious servant who sells out the rest of the house to keep in his master’s good graces?  Or is it being the guy who cares little what pompous asses think of him, and only wants to be remembered as the guy who always did what he thought was right?

He may have been wrong before, when the fog was thick.  But it is gone now… One can see clearly as far as the eye can see.  His legacy if left unchanged, will doom every child of every parent in this fair state, unless they choose to opt out and not let their children take the test….

We call on him to save his children.  Not for me.  Not for any group, political or otherwise.  Seriously, none of us matter that much… But children?  There are none like them anywhere else in the world…. They should not be forced to run miles on stumps… This is a cruel test and cruel people are pushing it… It will do no good to any child of Delaware to continue any further with this charade ….

All can see it for what it is. 2011_Lavelle_Mugshot1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Phone: (302) 478-6128

Someone tell me why we are rushing into the Smarter Balanced Assessments again? Oh, yeah, Greg Lavelle. That’s right.

Minding My Matters

Tonight I had the pleasure of attending a well-run presentation by the Delaware State Education Association (DSEA) related to the Delaware Performance Appraisal System, currently in a revised state of its second iteration (DPAS II (r) ), and it got me thinking.

It is no secret that I am a card-carrying, wristband-wearing, federal Department of Education-occupying, National Education Association (independent) caucus member of the BadAss Teachers Association, and have been a member since a few short weeks after its inception. My daughter and I own matching opt-out t-shirts, and I fully plan to send a notification to her school this year stating that she will not be taking the Smarter assessment, formerly known as the Smarter Balanced assessment.

However, I am a firm believer that one may not complain if one does not participate in the process, and furthermore that one may not complain with opinions and anecdotal evidence. “Show…

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Pure Shit

The plans were already in place; the required legislative vote was window dressing… But the people spoke.

Able to get to their representatives, they got enough votes to shut down the Smarter Balanced Assessments… Till they got this news, and an order to go back, redo the vote, and make this outcome happen…. Scared like little girls, that is exactly what they did….

Obviously Common Core is dead.  This administration doesn’t know it yet…..

We’ve already run through the cost analysis.  It is cheaper for you to pay 10 cents a gallon than not (because of the damage done to your car if the money if not forthcoming).

Now, let us look at who is against it and why.  Pete Schwartzkoph, and the Republicans.  Both have a singular characteristic. Both need to justify their positions to voters back home.

If you are a Republican, for example, you have essentially earned a salary for doing nothing except show up.  You are pointless and take up space, simply because in a blue state, solely because of the smallness of your voting bloc, even if you wished, you could not make any legislative difference.

Since you are so impotent, you seize on this distraction, to pretend to show your voters that you will look after their interests, even though you know what you are saying is just plain wrong. Even though you know that if you were in power, that you would be pushing this 10 cents gas tax, instead, by pretending to be against it you hope to pretend you are tough and standing up to the governor, and hopefully some dummy who will only pay attention to this topic, will be enough to push you over the top in your next election….

You are probably going to lose in the next election.  Then as a civilian, your car will hit potholes too.  And you will be paying far more in repairs, than the 10 cents gas would cost you…  Not voting for ht 10 cents will kick you in the end….

Everyone will  first react negatively.  I did. But everyone who looks at the benefits, sees this tax as a very cheap option to save oneself a whole lot of money….. Truth is, if I hadn’t looked at the wonderful benefits, I’d be against it still.

It’s sort of like this:  if someone says, “hey you, buy this car” you say, “aw shucks, can’t. Not interested. I’m happy with what I got here.” But if someone says, “buy this car, it’s worth $40,000 but right now, it is priced at $10,000… Buy it for that?.”  Then buying a car is a whole different ball game.   The 10 cent gas tax is like that….