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It is something one earns.  

As children growing up, if one’s parent are always telling them somethings that always turn out not to be real or true, then at some point later when they try to advise you on a decision, you are dismissive of there concerns.

Such as:  stand up for yourself, if someone threatens you; don’t say nothing; just punch them in the nose as hard as you can.  After multiple hospital visits a child learns his parents got it completely wrong.

But if their results always turn out in their favor, and the navigate the perils of life with ease compared to their peers, they will have profound respect, often seeking your advice first to expedite matters for themselves…. 

Such as:  there are many ways to handle bullies; most do it because they don’t have attention at home.  If somehow you can bond with a bully while they are still young, you can change them.  Invite him over to play some weekend when I’m here; we’ll make it fun. You do have to let them know, however, that you aren’t scared and if that if they make a mistake and choose to fight you, you will make their life a living hell by involving the school authorities, your parents, lawyers, police, and so on. but do that, only if you don’t win by charm first.  But if he is really crazy and some people are, and does hit you and it is not in a fun way, then aim your fist straight for the nose, and hit it with all you got…. Be prepared, there usually is a small explosion upon contact.

He walks away; wow, mom is really smart after all.

The News Journal got it all wrong on these, the following:

  • Wilmington Port
  • Race To The Top
  • Common Core
  • Smarter Balanced Assessments
  • Charter Schools

I don’t mean the sides they chose; they have that right.  I mean the facts and assumptions they used in each and everyone of these cases which had already been proven wrong….

  • Big ships for the new Panama Canal are too big to come up Delaware Bay
  • Educational scores align themselves ranked solely by poverty. If affluent, higher scores; if poor, lower scores. 
  • Common Core Standards were and are a Federal mandated curriculum governing what students will learn
  • The Smarter Balanced Tests are not even fit for adult consumption, much less determining a child’s progress
  • On average Charter Schools perform worse than public schools at every level of a student’s family’s income.

Each of these facts, were not only left out but their exact opposite was used to promote the very cause they had just been signed on to promote… 

Every opinion piece was based on myth and slogans with the real truth buried under lies….. 

So we shouldn’t be surprised to open our paper and see today’s lie, which is just a white-washed half truth, being used to promote the newest initiative their advertising dollar’s payer, has asked them to promote….. 

Think about that. If anyone thinks that too hard of a climb, consider what is happening in China’s and India’s schools. The children in these six Delaware schools will be competing for jobs with their Chinese and Indian counterparts for the rest of their lives.

Breakin’ it down:

A.  China does not test all its students.  It jealously guards its image and  allows only the Shanghai district to be reported internationally,  Shanghai Law does not allow people who have moved from other regions into their schools. Only those wealthy who have always lived there, are allowed attendance.  Almost all of these students have a private tutor, paid around $40,000 which is hired by their parents strictly to give them excellent scores on these tests.  They are taught to the test, 15-16 hours a day….  In the outer regions of China, the student can barely read and do math.  However against these high scores of Shanghai, we test everyone… from our dumbs to our plums. (and considering all that, are surprisingly close)

B.  Our youth will compete against India and China for jobs but it won’t be over education; it will be over pay rates. Both of those nations will take jobs from us because not of our educational deficiencies, but because our businesses move there for cheap labor.  That is our real competition.  Though China officially puts out more engineers per year now than does the US, those engineers are of considerable lower quality.  As if we put engineering in our VoTechs and called those graduates: engineers. That is why China sends so many students to the US.  To learn what we know.  We have considerable reports from international employers who state that the Chinese employees they monitor are not capable of thinking, but are very good only at following memorized procedures and steps.  When they come to a problem, the entire work process stops while they sit and wait for someone to come in and give them a solution, which is often rather simple or mundane.  They were never given authority to search and develop solutions on their own. 

So although we agree with the News Journal that our children are precious and deserve all we can give them, we disagree that the secret of their success is in making standards higher, tests harder and firing teachers who can’t push their kids to these arbitrarily-set higher standards.  Instead we feel we should focus on children already behind, and to build them up with instruction and confidence so they can live happy and successful lives… 

What the administration is trying to do with pushing these silly tests, is no different than raising a high bar to six feet, and firing the coaches when their third grade kids can’t jump it…  

Raising standards higher for someone not capable of meeting the lower ones, is a waste of time.  The kid looks at the high bar and says, “I guess I have to give it a try”,  runs at it and prays for some type of magic to materialize and gently pick him up and over…. 

We should be using things we know that work, like personal attention, like personal feedback, like rewarding personal achievement, which allow each of those kids to excel as far as they are able.

We, (and one would assume the News Journal as well), are certainly wise enough to know that the only successful schools that new reformers have ever put on paper… is when they cheated on the test scores to say:  look our results are indeed working.  

The believability behind the News journal editorial board unfortunately has now stooped to a level equaling the credibility of those little adds in your weekly mailer which try to convince you to order little pills that are “guaranteed” to eradicate the brownish aging spots on your skin in 21 days…  Miracle Breakthrough the headline touts!  Yeah, that’s why it’s on page 7 in a mailer unceremoniously thrust inside my Thursday mailbox… 

When one has a bad program, if one is employed and wishes to remain so, one must suck the hose spewing the money. Recently Ezra Klein felt the necessity as John links to over here.  Further more  on this day, we have Terri Hodges paying the piper here… And to make it a hat trick… from the dark black hole of 901 N. Market Street, a place sucking up just in 2013… $6,231,714.57 of Delaware’s taxpayer’s money, a ringing endorsement dutifully published by  the News Journal without any of the clear quid-pro-quo lines of connection between public dollars and one’s private fortunes that one would expect to find on a real news source, such as here….. 

But at the same time of this pro-Common-Core-coordinated push…., South Carolina is dropping the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Louisiana will be exiting PARCC assessments. Tennessee is leaving the PARCC assessments and Common Core altogether.  Indiana has left Common Core and chose to go solo with their own standards….keeping the best, trashing the worst.

The difference between these two opposite opinions depends solely on whether or not one is sucking the hose.  People who suck, all chorus “we need higher standards now blah, blah, blah”.  The People who got sucked (as in being pegged for suckers, silly, what did you think I was implying?)…  are saying “we’re getting the hell out of this stinking glory hole as fast as we possibly can… ”

Interestingly, all this is being viewed by those in charge of the next wave of reform: which is the implementation of Science and Math standards, or STEM…  This is more serious than Common Core.  Because real science and math, are more important to daily life than ELA and randomly attributed math puzzles.  Society always get along if we hear colorful language…”Yo! Ain’t yet got ‘dem Seasoned Eag’s tiks yet, bro,” ….  We can survive because we are smart enough to know that upon hearing that, we should ask someone else for our season Eagles tickets…   But being on an operating table, half in and out of consciousness and hearing “Ewwwwww… what’s that brown-red thingy, ugh, looks disgusting.””Uhh, Doctor, that is her liver.” “oh, yeah right,  It’s her liver.” does not play well for society overall and and as a whole….

People working on putting the next wave together are saying this in unison:


Instead here is what THEY recommend:

1) Anticipating that schools will not be able to tackle all aspects of the standards at once, and that some kind of staged implementation is called for.

2) Introducing the standards one grade level at a time, allowing each cohort of students to arrive at each grade with the requisite prior knowledge.  For example, start with k; then do k, 1st; then do k,1,2; and then do k,1,2,3; and so on….

3) Begin at the beginning (rather than the middle) and laying a solid foundation for subsequent work, especially important for high-need students.. Science is cumulative, and complicated ideas are built upon constituent concepts taught earlier,,

4) Build upward to give districts the requisite time to adapt the new standards and to offer effective professional development for all science teachers, one grade level at a time… From a district’s perspective, this professional-development challenge becomes more tractable and affordable…

5) The “all in” approach so far taken with the common core  indeed feels more like a tsunami, hitting a district all at once, changing the landscape, and threatening to erode all of the very progress it is trying to make. Such disruption lead to a backlash, followed by efforts to roll back or water down new standards….


When you see how much Common Core has failed and fallen on its face, so much that the next wave is calling for it’s abandonment….  it is physically hard to take any cheerleading …. “Rah, Rah, Rah! Sis Boom Bah” for Common Core seriously…

Perhaps we should do them a favor, find the handle on the spigot and shut off the water drowning them, so they can finally catch their breath…. and talk clearly ……

Common Core like the Reconstructionist South… is crawling with Carpet Baggers, each intent on  plying their own brand of self-help for a problem they alone are creating; there was never any overall systemic structure for regulating vendors; it was from the beginning set up like a bazaar…  When one walks in a bazaar, all one hears is noise.  A cacophony.  We need to stop listening to Common Core cheerleading as anything more than the marketing of self-promotion…  For the News Journal to allow this dark black-hole company of only 3 people earning over $6 million of state tax dollars just this past fiscal year…. , WITHOUT disclosing to us, the public, where exactly that opinion is coming …. is doing all of journalism a gigantic injustice….

Doing exactly that should be immoral.

Carpet Baggins's















Sweeney is at it again.  As old age creeps up on him as with everyone else, his edge has dulled.  In this case it is not his intellect, but his wisdom which fades.  Instead of thinking for himself, he is led by the nose with a thread, sewed through his septum, then tied in a knot, with a long string dangling out of his nostril….

“They” tried to hide the author.  It is buried under ….”Our View…”  But like his face in the picture often used to represent him… some things one just can’t hide….   There is a particular slant of Sweeneyism that is hard to copy.  That could be described as preaching the gospel of creationism long after it has been debunked…

In his latest attempt Sweeney gets called to save the dying Charter Schools.  Public opinion has turned against the administration….  Yet in Sweeney’s entire argument, there are no facts.  Why should we turn to Charter Schools? The facts are that they teach worse than do public schools, they waste more tax dollars than public schools, they actually cost more dollars than public schools, and they drain resources away from public schools,  Oh, and they pay their owners, superintendents, and administrators more than public schools…  To the tune of $72 dollars a student more!

So why should we continue with Charter Schools?  The only reason Sweeney can possibly derive… is because people want them.  Well. … …. … People want heroin too….   So perhaps the perfect rebuttal to Sweeney’s argument would be to substitute the word…” Heroin”…  for his words… “Charter Schools”…  Trust me… It is a really fun read… It also shows the spuriousness of Sweeney’s argument… “Why should everyone suffer just to make a few people happy?”   Here is Sweeney’s explanation… (Warning: don’t drink and read at the same time..).. 🙂


“Twenty legislators have asked the state Board of Addictions to consider the possible harm five new heroin dispensaries pose to the Red Clay Consolidated School District.

The legislators are worried that too much legal heroin will drive students out of Red Clay schools. They argue this would be a detriment to the district and to those who prefer a public drug-free culture.

They have a point. Looked at from the institution’s point of view, heroin poses a threat. However, what does it look like from the point of view of the addicts who would want to send their children into heroin addiction? What do they see? What is the need addicts are trying to fill?

The heroin debate generally has ignored questions like these. Most of the arguments coming from the legislators and others, focus on the concerns of the institutions and those who run them. The viewpoint of the typical addict is missing.

Abstinence has been, is and will be the backbone of the American anti drug system, its religion, its workplace. However, for generations, people with money could sidestep any legal faults they saw in that system by sending their children money for heroin. However, since the advent of laws allowing for legal heroin, middle- and low-income parents now have had the ability to leave that dull reality as well. Most likely, these parents do not see themselves as leaving an old reality; they are just trying to get a better thrill for their children. The parents, in other words, are voting with their actions, driving into Wilmington, buying bags, and giving it to their children.

Instead of complaining, the anti drug establishment and their legislative supporters should be asking why.

People who hook new addicts study their customers. When the customers stop coming back, those business operators find out why and do something about it. They do not blame the competition, they kill them. As one businessman recently put it, Pepsi does not try to shut down Coke when the customers stop drinking Pepsi. Pepsi fights back.

Do the leaders of Red Clay or any other anti drug institution know why parents want to take their children out of abstinence? The districts cannot blame the growth of drug use on just the plight of middle-class white parents. Heroin addiction is extremely attractive to lower-income minority parents as well.

Why? What prompts them to shoot up? What attracts them to heroin? If the anti drug leaders know what the reason is, why isn’t it on the table for discussion? Suppose the problem were lack of love or curriculum. Shouldn’t that problem be the topic for discussion? Shouldn’t the legislators be trying to assist the anti drug establishment to find a solution for the heroin addiction, rather than complaining about alleged unfairness of those selling heroin to be beyond the law?

We applaud the legislators for their concern, but they would have a better argument if they could speak to the addicts’ concerns as well.


This argument doesn’t work for heroin; it doesn’t work for Charter Schools…. The definition of freedom… at least as we (and that includes Sweeney) once learned…. “is the right to do what you want as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else”…… There are only two Charter Schools doing well…. Newark and Wilmington’s..  Between just the two of them, there are 2700 students…. Across the state there are over 133,000….  Why should every other student have to experience a decline in resources-per-child to benefit only 0.2% of the student population?

In Sweeney’s topsy turvey world, everyone of those 130,600 other students must now suffer (which even he admits to), until we find out why 0.2% of the population has an addiction to something different……

Yes.  It truly boggles the mind, doesn’t it?