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(Anthology courtesy of John Young; printed by Exceptional Delaware.)


• Test scores show we perform poorly.
• America performs poorly compared to international students (other nations do not test poverty).
• Schools are failing.
• Teachers are lazy.
• Teachers are incompetent.
• Lack of Grit is an obstacle to success.
• Lack of Rigor causes failure.


• Policies of merit pay and bonuses are creating turnover not stabilizing it.
• The constant shifts in staff based on test score accountability create understandable teacher inertia to meaningful policy change.
• Our schools have been subject to veritable unending policy change since 1983 (Nation at Risk).
• Testing is misused to label and destroy the profession of teaching.
• Testing is used to inappropriately measure schools of education (SB51).
• Testing is used to label schools and fuel a choice law that shifts funds and creates economic chaos in our schools.
• Property tax funding base is unstable.
• Special education is dramatically underfunded and frequently violated ….School boards can help, but honestly are largely an exercise in petty ego wrapped up in pseudo-authority.

The opposite, that only Red Clay pays more, needs nipped in the bud…   Because they are trying to feed this now to the Public:   that Red Clay already supports three districts… We have it from Christina’s Budget liaison that such is not so…

Both Christina and Red Clay pay more into the tax pool than they get back… 

Brandywine and Colonial can take that to the bank……..  (and do.)

They are like a computer virus. They take over a district, and use it to spread themselves to the next host….

“…It’s a fairly rudimentary exercise to be frank with you…Revenue follows the student to charter schools. Fixed costs do not follow the student proportionately. So therefore, the more revenue loss you get, the fixed cost base stays the same. There’s erosion. So it’s a pretty simple model…” –Independent Auditor discussing the Metro Nashville Public Schools audit…

This is exactly why if we wish to open charter schools, they need to be independent of all revenue which follows the students.  As charter schools grow (and they do not educate the majority, only a very tiny minority of people,) the majority of students get shafted.

At 20% Charter School attendance, for every child a charter school helps, it hurts four public school children… There is no exception to this under today’s funding structure… Every charter school hurts public schools more than those public schools are already hurting right now.

Jack Markell said so himself when campaigning in 2008…. There is no way Penny Schwinn can twist this truism… It is a a fact.  There is no way Rodel can twist this truism,  It is a fact. There is no way Earl Jacques, Charter School Sower Extrodinaire, can twist this truism… Facts are facts…

4 people get hurt for every child that goes to a charter school!

Immediately we need a bill that dislocates charter school funding from public schools, and pays for them as we currently do vocational schools… LINE  ITEMS  IN  STATE  BUDGET!

This Tennessee story is interesting… The Charter Group fully thought the study would vindicate their cause and allow open season for charters to spawn… The audit showed they couldn’t have been more wrong… Since they approved the audit, they now have to live with the egg on their face….

Meaning the figures are not even close… Charter schools are the death of a public school system…  With overwhelming evidence in Nashville, Memphis, Washington DC, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and next door in Philadelphia.,  it is a wonder that anyone in Delaware can ever support more charter schools…

They must love hurting 4 little children for every one they privatize ….. 

Imagine if we had privatized women’s suffrage and let corporations handle it.  it would be botched for sure. Imagine if we had privatized Negro Civil Rights in the 60’s and let corporations handle it.  Yeah, you know where that would lead us.  Imagine if we turned the Clean Water Act or the Clean Air act over to corporations… Yeah, you know how that would turn out…  How is the privatization of Indiana’s turnpike coming?  About as bad as our privatization of public schools.

Some things simply can’t be privatized … Public education is one…  Everyone who supports Charters is like Will Smith; an enemy of the state…. 

Filing a civil rights complaint is one way parents who refuse to have their children participate in high stakes standardized testing can defend the children, against the following actions taken by school site or district administrators and officials….

To do that, one of these things have to occur.

  • Administrator failure to adhere to parent’s decision to refuse student participation in testing
  • Forced grade retention when proficiency has been demonstrated via other methods
  • Course credit denial when proficiency has been demonstrated via other methods
  • Forced remediation  such as summer school or remediation classes in lieu of elective classes when there is clear evidence the child does not need remediation
  • Unwarranted and punitive penalties such as detentions, inability to participate in extra-curricular activities and team sports, inability to participate in field trips, inability to continue in magnet or academy programs, or inability to be placed in advanced or gifted academic programs

Your child has the constitutional right and as a parent so do you, to not have them take this test…  Since obviously your child will not be treated in an educational system that goes so far overboard protecting corporate interests over those of children… as a regular citizen of this nation you have the right and ability to take this matter to the highest court in the land, if necessary…

A third party has a better chance of seeing your side, as opposed to the guilty party.  No business interest, no matter how well entrenched with local government, has the right to victimized young children for their own profit.

You can click here for the form.  

Typically, complaints are filed at the school site first; however, in the case where an administrator is identified as the violator, it is best to file at the Civil Rights Compliance Office (CRC) or similar office in a specific district.

We are in Region 3.

Here is where we file…

Region 3 – Philadelphia (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia)
Barbara Holland, Regional Manager
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
150 S. Independence Mall West
Suite 372, Public Ledger Building
Philadelphia, PA 19106-9111
Main Line (800) 368-1019
FAX (215) 861-4431
TDD (800) 537-7697

Fill out the above form with specific prompts.    Describe each person who allegedly discriminated, retaliated and/or harassed you, please describe in detail, what occurred and specifically describe the exact event or action which you believe was discriminatory, retaliatory and/or harassing.

Here is an example:

Public schools are required to teach all children regardless of all impediments.  The Smarter Balanced Assessment which guarantees a 70% failure is deemed to be an impediment to my child’s learning.   When I opted out of my child taking the test, an action that is both legal and non-binding, I was punished for it in these following ways.

When citing this as the reason I am refusing to allow my child to test, District Superintendent____________ and  Principal _________,  and Counselor ______________  subsequently, via verbal face-to-face communication , on September __, 2016 and via written communication received on September __, 2016; denied my child the opportunity to continue to participate in _________  program in which she was thriving.

High stakes testing as documented by numerous of studies over decades, “has had the effect of segregating” children according to social class and racial differences.  Were I to go forward with this test I, the parent, would be willingly and obligingly forcing my child to be stereotyped as a failure across his/her future, despite all other classroom evidence pointing to the contrary.

I obviously refused to do this, and for this, my child was singled out to be punished by the officers representing this school. This is a violation of my child’s civil right to receive the best public education which can be given.  Were she treated the same due to the color of her skin, her religion, her gender, her sexual preference, or her philosophy, she would have behind her, the full support of the law.  

As parent, we are given and have the legal obligation of making all choices in how to raise our child.  One worthy example: if we feel vaccinations are harmful, we can opt out our child.  Laws allow that.  Against something that is far more dangerous to our child than a rare virus, something that could affect and ruin a child for life like this Smarter Balanced Assessment, we obviously have the same parental right. The law does not allow a parent’s right to be trumped by any governmental agency, especially if trumping that right can be proved to harm the child.

There is considerable evidence that the Smarter Balanced Assessment will cause children to suffer severe stress and emotional abuse, causing longterm educational damage. Against this claim the Department of Education has brought no evidence to the contrary.   What we DO hear, is almost every child psychologist across America unified in saying that this test is very harmful to children’s development.

Things to remember when filing:

  • Clearly identify your reason(s) for test refusal (political, disability, medical, religious, age, etc.).
  • Clearly identify what violation has occurred (forced remediation, inability to participate in an extracurricular activity, etc.).
  • Identify by full name and position all those that participated in the violation.
  • Keep narratives short and fact focused.
  • Attach all pertinent paper work (letters home, emails, letters to school, forms, etc.).
  • Show up for all scheduled meetings for mediation that are meant to forego a hearing.
  • Show up for all scheduled hearings.

Now call your principal and ask him when your child is scheduled to take the test.  Say you want to remove him from school on those days, and you don’t want him to take the test… Tell him you are in contact with the Civil Rights office in Philadelphia and you have the right to opt out your child from the test and furthermore that he cannot be punished in any way for having parents who know the damage this test will cause and decided to prevent it from affecting their child.


South Korea, where more than 70 percent of high school graduates enter university, education is a national obsession that the government worries is actually damaging society.  Education accounted for nearly 12 percent of consumer spending last year, and parents spent the equivalent of 1.5 percent of G.D.P. on cram schools for their children.  There are now more cram school instructors in South Korea than regular schoolteachers, and the exams are so difficult that even college professors admit they could not pass them.

The paradox is these ridiculous tests don’t necessarily lead to demanding college classes. In Japan, where almost all college students graduate, it’s quite common for students to be asked only to parrot back lecture notes. Rigorous thinking, reading and writing too often is simply not expected.


Courtesy of Creative by Nature

When I asked a class (South Korea) if they were happy in this environment, one girl hesitantly raised her hand to tell me that she would only be happy if her mother was gone because all her mother knew was how to nag about her academic performance.  The world may look to South Korea as a model for education — its students rank among the best on international education tests — but the system’s dark side casts a long shadow.  Dominated by Tiger Moms, cram schools and highly authoritarian teachers, South Korean education produces ranks of overachieving students who pay a stiff price in health and happiness. The entire program amounts to child abuse. It should be reformed and restructured without delay.

Not surprisingly, South Korea’s position in the international education hierarchy is flipped when it comes to youth happiness, with only 60 percent of the country’s students confessing to being content in school, compared with an average of 80 percent, in 2012, among the world’s wealthy nations.

As parents we are at that exact point where we must ask ourselves what society we want for our children.  One where they will probably fail but if not, they might get a job in which they are always miserable in?  Or a life worth living?

To be a South Korean child ultimately is not about freedom, personal choice or happiness; it is about production, performance and obedience.  Is this what we want for America?  Is this what we want for our children?

Obedience to authority is enforced both at home and school. I remember the time I disagreed with my homeroom teacher in middle school by writing him a letter about one of his rules. The letter led to my being summoned to the teacher’s office, where I was berated for an hour and a half, not about the substance of my words but the fact that I had expressed my view at all. He had a class to teach but he did not bother to leave our meeting because he was so enraged that someone had questioned his authority. I knew then that trying to be rational or outspoken in school was pointless.  This is how East Side Charter school is run today.  It also was Pencader. Is this how Amercans are supposed to act?

Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union and Korea Youth Counseling Institute’s surveys have shown that 43% to 48% of students had the suicide ideation.  Comparatively the US has a rate of 8% for men and 13% for women.

But to effect any meaningful change in South Korea’s education, a culture that treats its children as a commodity to be used in the service of the family or the national economy must be radically altered.

Now the point…

This is not the America we need in order to compete with other nations in our future.  What we did in our past, has worked just fine, in fact, all nations send their best to our schools.  Trying to be like South Korea can only benefit one segment …. Those on the receiving end of South Korea’s 1.5% GDP spent on cram schools.  That is the only people who benefit from the suffering of ALL our children…

Time for decision is quickly approaching… The tests begin next week… 

In your hand, and only in your hand, is the lever that stops the selling off of American’s children to the highest bidder…

If your child takes the test, then the test’s legitimacy to determine your child’s future becomes set in stone… You can’t take the the test this year, and opt out next year…  For instead you WILL have to show your child improved and it WILL come at great expense to you (and your child).

But if you don’t take the test…. if you say a flat “no thank you kindly sir”,……. then the Smarter Balanced Assessment joins the rank of products like the New Coke…… the Edsel…… Hydrogen Airships……..  Ocean Liners that are completely unsinkable……..  America does not fall apart.  It just moves on to safer alternatives.

But you have to not take the test….  Taking the test is the equivalent  of buying a passage for your child on the Hindenberg or Titanic….   Those who did, regretted it…

There is zero penalty for not taking the test… Period... There is a terrible penalty for taking it…  Please choose wisely.  Time is running out….

Today there is a referendum to increase funding for all schools in the two priority districts that have been hit by Markell’s cuts. It is just  for 16 cents. It is necessary to keep schools open, so go vote. You have till 8:00, when polls close… You just go to a Christina or Red Clay school nearby with your ID… and they will look you up, certify you, (and make sure you didn’t vote elsewhere already) and then vote yes for both options…

It is way too cold to go through all that effort just to vote “no” which changes nothing.  So if you are not inclined to vote “yes”, just stay at home.

When everyone else runs away from those with unchallenged power, he runs straight at them.

Support him.  Join him.  We, The People, need more like him.

I borrowed them from a song… I once saw Martin Luther King walking down the street singing it….  Jump to the 4th verse……

We are not afraid
We are not afraid
We are not afraid some day


We are not alone
We are not alone
We are not alone some day


The whole wide world around
The whole wide world around
The whole wide world around some day


We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome some day

Nuff said.

We knew that… Now you do too.

If you haven’t yet heard: the Delaware Department of Education (not a state board but a collection of bureaucrats hired out of the semi-private corporation Rodel which is unfortunately heavily invested in those charter schools which would have been competing against  these alleged priority schools,)  said the citizens of Christina District be damned, whatever parents want does not matter, and that the Christina District must close these fine schools or turn them over to charters… The Christina Board voted none of the above… (Instead it plans to transfer them over to Red Clay, a move which should eventually remove Evans from the board (now you understand his objection) since Wilmington is “His” district.

  • Bear in mind, the Christina District held countless sessions with the public and put together a well-thought plan agreed by all parties.  The DOE said “too bad, you people don’t count; this is what we are going to do”.
  • Bear in mind, these schools are not the worst in the state.  Their only mark of distinction is that they are geographically close to the new charter schools going into the property now owned by the Longwood Foundation,
  • Bear in mind, 99% of Delawareans are against this takeover.   It is happening anyway.
  • Bear in mind, 49% of the highly effective and effective teachers in these schools, will lose their jobs, and those jobs will be given to substitute teachers who have no idea of either the subject material, or of how to effectively teach.
  • Bear in mind, despite the alleged inadequacies supposedly surrounding these schools, ALL EVIDENCE IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE, shows that public schools still teach better than do charters….Across the span of 25 years, not one piece of evidence has yet surfaced showing charters to be better at teaching than public schools.  Contrary in fact, across 25 years, 83% of all known evidence has proven beyond any and all doubt, that charter schools teach worse than public schools… Beyond all doubt.

    You wring your hands and say … how can they do this?

By a test…. They say enough students did not pass this test and therefore they will close down the school… It matters nothing to them if all the worst performers just happen to live in that single feeder pattern… or were selected based on the additional needs required of them, as was the case when they revoked the license of two of Delaware’s charters which were founded specifically  to help very challenged students… The DOE says… “oops, your scores are lower than wealthy white schools; sorry, you’re closed.”

How can we render this out-of-control DOE impotent?

  • First and most importantly, by boycotting this year’s test…  If waves and waves of citizens all opt out their own children from taking this test…. then the entire “charterization” process, which is nothing more than giving state dollars to friends of the governor to run these schools, “(Oh, Jack, won’t you buy me… a Mercedes Benz?  All my friends got Porsches, I must make amends) grinds to a halt….
  • Secondly, by asking your legislator to pass legislation requiring both houses and the governor’s signature before charterization of a public asset can occur. Is it a good idea to let a renegade Secretary destroy schools for years to come?  (Look at what happened in Philadelphia when it went charter, before you answer that… )
  • By telling your friends and neighbors to vote FOR the referendums that school districts need to become independent of these renegades.

But most importantly…. Stay away from the test.… This will have the greatest effect of showing the world that education is too important to let ones kids suffer in order that others can jump ahead on a corporate ladder, once their public stints are fulfilled….

What is at stake for you, is who is in the best position to judge your child’s worth… A teacher who worked closely with your child for 180 days?  Or someone in a cubicle several stories high, in a warehouse outside Minneapolis who has 4 minutes to look over your child’s work and then…. issue a score… before he moves on to the next one?

You know the answer…. That person or one just like him decided the fate of all those children in those 6 urban schools in Wilmington!  Now get serious about your child’s education and opt them out… You don’t have to sign anything except an excuse whenever the test is done that says… Please excuse my child for missing the past 6 days of school  He/she had the flu…..   But all of you have to do it… One or two won’t cut it… It needs to be everyone….

IF you don’t?

It will be your schools, and your children, which will be the next ones disrupted….  Stop the test. Opt out.