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With all the hoopla over HB 50, this seems to have been lost in the wash… But our sister RTTT state, Tennessee who was also the first to jump aboard RTTT with Delaware, just voted to dump Common Core….

Let that sink in…. A state which went through the exact same process as did Delaware, … voted to dump Common Core… We are asking our General Assembly to vote soon and extend it 5 more years!

Was it a close vote?  Not hardly.    On Monday, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted unanimously (97:0) to repeal Common Core. Tuesday, the Tennessee State Senate followed with a (27:1) vote in favor of repeal….

Their bill, HB1035, also increases accountability by mandating that all educational standards committee appointees be confirmed by the House of Representatives and Senate.  This requires the state board of education or the department of education to cancel any memorandum of understanding concerning the Common Core State Standards entered into with the national governor’s association and the council of chief state school officers.

And every anti-Common Core parent will cheer over the second amendment.. AMENDMENT #2 refers to “postsecondary-and-workforce ready standards” instead of “college-and-career ready standards”, a far more honest appellation.

“Both Democrats and Republicans in my district are strongly against Common Core,” said co-sponsor Rep. Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro).”  As they should be, as all should be…..

The question is whether their governor, educational reformer Bill Haslam will veto the bill and risk certain political death as a result pf going against its overwhelming support, or go with the tidal wave of anti-Common Core sentiment surging across the rest of America, and sign it.

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One of the first things they ever teach in Management 101 is to look at someone else doing what you propose to do, and see if what you want done is viable…   If it is working, do what they do.  You can improve on it later.  If it isn’t working, wake up to reality.

Charters propose making education better.  They say they will pump education into children’s heads and therefore those children will do better…   However they say they will do it at a cost to society… and that cost is that THEY must keep a large part of the money public education spends on students for themselves, in order to make this happen.  Less money therefore gets spent on your child in a charter school, simply because most of it gets siphoned off into pockets of investors….

But, since money talks more to legislators than common sense, illogical policies across this nation, like all charter districts have been put in place.  It would be wise to look at these places before embarking our state on a similar path…

One such place is Memphis, in our sister RTTT state…  In order to bolster their education of their inner city schools, Memphis went with an all charter district.   Here is what was found.

  • The Achievement School District inappropriately charged the School Improvement Grants program for expenditures incurred before the award was effective and failed to adequately review invoices paid to Charter Management Organizations, resulting in federal questioned costs of $193,241 (p.32-33)
  • The ASD Failed to Adequately Review CMO Invoices (p.33-34). 
  • The ASD Accounting Manager and Accounts Payable Clerk processed 5 invoices, totaling $477,166.14, without the documented approval of the Public Grants Manager. (p.34)
  • $66,366.18 in unsupported expenditures charged to School Improvement Grants, resulting in questioned costs for personnel, textbooks, travel costs, benefits overpayments, and salary miscalculations. (p.34)
  • On 2 invoices, a CMO billed ASD for expenditures before the vendors were paid. (p.34)
  • The ASD blamed some of these errors on “high turnover in its Public Grants Manager position during the fiscal year.”  The State Comptroller determined that “when the position was vacant, no other employee assumed the role of reviewing and approving invoices in order to mitigate the risk of paying inaccurate, unsupported, or fraudulent invoices.  By not ensuring that invoices are properly reviewed, approved, and adequately supported, ASD runs the risk of paying CMOs for activities that are not allowed under federal program requirements.” (p.35)

That was financial.  With no one overseeing Charter Schools, which was also the prime sticking point in the local Priority School battle, (ie, who would get to write checks and make the financial acquisitions), obviously the sole purpose of Charters was to make their owners rich.

The TCAP scores for these charters are in fact, lower than when tested as public schools the previous year. Some blamed Common Core for the precipitous drop of 50% in proficiency.  Regardless, public schools performed better than charters, Considerably better.  The equivalent would be like turning the priority schools of Wilmington over to Charters because only 30% of those children were proficient, and then having the charters at their best be only able to kick out a 15% proficiency while neighboring schools continued putting out 30%… Same schools, same students… Scores cut by half…  This is the lasting legacy of charters across the globe.  They FAIL when forced to do what public schools have to do.,

And now…. this charter group is pushing new legislation in their Tennessee State legislature which will let them forcibly remove good students in from some schools and force them into other bad schools to raise up those  bad averages... No joke…

This gamemanship of trying to raise scores by moving students is exactly why charter schools need to be banned in Delaware…  The idea of education has always been to benefit students. Not Charters… Taking a good student from a good school harms that student.  It certainly doesn’t raise the scores of other students… So greater harm is done… What it does do, is raise the collective scores of that administrator… The good schools perform less well but still pass, and the poorer schools hopefully perform better and still pass so the administrator can say. all my schools pass…

This would be the equivalent of Christina taking all students from Red Clay’s Charter School of Wilmington and disseminating all those students in its worst schools, and then bragging their policies raised up the average scores in all their schools without doing one other thing different from what they had done previously.  It is Idiotic. Yet supporters were found to put it on the table in Tennessee’s legislature..  Probably to counter another serious bill which would abolish the Charter District entirely and return it to the public fold.

No student learns any more than they did previously. Some learn less. Overall, students lose..

This is why parents need to stop the charterization of Delaware immediately… The easiest and most effective way of doing that, is to opt out of the Smarter Balanced Test now being undertaken in schools across this state.    With no test scores, there can be no closings, and with no closings, there can be no charters…

To charter operators it is only about money… Your only defense against this, since Delaware’s legislators seem to be lost in space, is to opt out… 

Don’t let your child take that awful test. 

See?  These tests are nothing but bull sh\t…

This teacher just missed her goal by one person.  Obviously her score was too high, so arbitrarily enough students were failed to drop the score to below her agreed-to goal….  All 12 got an 86 which marked the bottom of proficient.  Yet 5 passed, 7 failed.  And ironically, most of those students who skipped class, were given the passing grades over those who had perfect attendance all year long.

These tests are nothing but bull sh\t….

Delaware has to get rid of its Smart Balanced and maintain the DCAS until other states give us the green light that Smarter Balanced is OK.

By being first, Markell is the acting cheerleader for the entire Common Core.  Us Delawareans are in the unfortunate circumstance of having to go along with the cheerleader’s point of view, where other governors who did not get picked to drive up the enthusiasm levels, are able to look with an honest eye, and are in unison, saying…. “unh, unh… No way….”

Delaware’s Legislators must investigate for themselves what is in the Smarter Balanced Assessments…. Delaware’s Legislators themselves must visit teachers, away from DOE handlers…. (ie, meet privately) and simply ask… “Which is better for our kids… The Smarter Balanced Assessment?  or the DCAS?”

It appears the following sources cannot be trusted to tell the truth about what is happening to our children….  Jack Markell, Mark Murphy, staff of DOE, Dave Sokola, Darryl Scott, Frederika Jenner, Delaware Chamber of Commerce, Rodel, And that is sad.  But they are marketers… and that is what marketers… do.

I’m not saying I’m right or wrong about this.. I’m saying Delaware’s children deserve only the best and to get that, every legislator owes it to their district’s children, and parents, to get this right….

If I am right, and after 12 years of schooling our children come out of this educational circus dumb as rocks,…. going forward solely based on trust being placed in this administration, will cause our state huge future problems we wouldn’t otherwise have, for decades to come.

“Our classes aren’t divided equally. If you want us to have merit pay, you’ve got to base all our classrooms equally and give all teachers a chance to achieve those standards but it’s not set up that way. It never has been. “

“I’ve been teaching for nineteen years and I’ve had more evaluations this year than I had my first year of teaching. You are welcome in our classroom anytime. I want to be accountable. I am accountable,… but do it fairly,”

We’ve just watched the Olympics… What if any skier could start where they wanted to on the slope. As long as they had the shortest time, they won gold. What if a speed skater could skate as many times around the oval as he desired, and yet the shortest total time won?

Who would watch? No one. Because it is not fair… Obviously if you are going to give merit pay to teachers, you have to have equal arrangements…  An equal start where you begin. An equal finish where you end.  You can’t give one person all good students, and another all bad students, and golf-clap and pay the lucky one more? Perhaps lucky as she was, when it comes to teacher qualities, she isn’t the best one?

But how do you know? You certainly can’t tell from the test scores… because like a fake Olympics, you neglected to designate a starting line…

One seriously has to wonder if anyone thought merit pay through… Seriously! Did anyone really sit down for a day, play devils advocate, and think merit pay through?

Or did we base our whole system” on something that somebody said, because they though they fit together walking…. “, that is merit pay and teaching?

Do all teachers start with the same number of students in classes? Do all teachers start with the same spread of IQ’s across all their students? Do all teachers start with exactly the same low income mix in every classroom? Do all teachers start with exactly the same mix of non English students? Do all teachers start with the same number of Hispanics? Afro-Americans? American Indians? Asians? Caucasians?

What no? Then like the Olympics above, how can you say, whoopee, you win the gold?

Merit Pay will be the death of real education….

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Tennessee just received a bill to eliminate Daylight Savings time and never change the clocks back or forth.  Then, it’s sole sponsor, amended it to make Daylight Saving permanent, never changing after this spring….. At least as written however, the bill keeps all of Tennessee on Standard Time forever.

This is exactly the perfect example of Republican self-centered thinking.

A. I thought of this; it is a good idea.

B. Because I thought of it, others who suffer are inconsequential.

C. Since only I matter, if it seems good to me, it must be good for the entire world..

D. I wonder why no one else was smart enough to ever think of it before. They aren’t geniuses like me..

E. Of course there will be glitches; someone else will just work around them… just tell someone to stop whining, and get to work and fix those glitches.

This bill has already made it through its first committee hearing with a recommendation of passage.  It would exempt Tennessee from daylights savings time.

Let’s look at the  repercussions.. Something Republicans have yet to do…  Currently we are in winter.  Tennessee has its eastern third in the Eastern Time Zone, and the remaining two-thirds is in Central Time.  One of Tennessee’s cities, Bristol, is half in Virginia, and half in Tennessee.  The state line runs right down their main street

Winter:  Let’s take 12 noon.   The time in Virginia is 12:00.  The time across the border  through the Eastern third is 12:00 noon. Cross into Central and the time falls back to 11:00.  Memphis is at 11:00.  Across the Mississippi, Arkansas is at 11:00.  Kentucky to the north is synchronous with Tennessee, and the states to the south are likewise synchronous to Tennessee.

Summer:  Tennessee stays on standard and the rest all change to Daylight Savings time….  The Eastern Seaboard and Virginia were at 12 and jump to 1:00 pm… Eastern Tennessee stays at 12:00 pm making the left side of Bristol’s main street one hour earlier than the right side of main street.  Church times, radio broadcast time, and television times would all have to be broadcast in two time zones…

One third of the way across Tennessee and the clock jumps back to 11 am, making a two hour difference between Nashville and the Eastern Seaboard, or on the same timezone as Southeastern Oregon…. The Eastern Kentucky to the north will be clocked at 1:00 pm,  Tennessee will be 12:00 pm across that border… Western Kentucky, also in the Central time zone, but on Daylight Savings, will be at 12:00… Across the border in Tennessee it will be 11:00 am…. The same scenario will take place on the Southern Border as well. Alabama and Mississippi will be one hour ahead of Tennessee.  To go north from northern Mississippi into southern Tennessee, you drop back an hour in time.  To go south, you jump forward an hour in time.

Memphis will be 11:00 as well…. But get this… when you go west across the bridge into Arkansas, you will have to jump ahead for the daylight time there will be 12:00.  For travelers that is rather mind boggling to go west and advance one’s clock an hour….

Just imagine the confusion for the Tennessee Titians…. “When are they playing again??? Darn, I missed the first hour of the game”

And since Memphis is the hub of Fed Ex. every package flies through there, imagine all the confusion of everyone tracking their package deliveries… “Oh wow, it will get here soon, what,  it went backwards in time. No wait, it just jumped ahead two hours?”

It opens up a lot of weird possibilities.  Flying from Richmond through Nashville to Little Rock, you  take off, drop back two hours, then jump ahead one hour.

There will be counties in Kentucky and Alabama bordering the time zones where if you go catty corner down one road you change 2 hours.  If you go down another, you change one hour..

And this will not be like changing from Philly to St. Louis, where the sun is actually later so 4 o’clock there seems like 4 o’clock back home… This will be like changing your watch and continuing your business.  Oh, its four am. Time to go to Tennessee.  Oh wow, the sun comes up at 3:00 am here…”

The point of this whole exercise, is not so much to make fun of Tennessee.  But to illustrate the reasoning that is indicative of all Republicans… It is how Mitt Romney thought.  John McCain thought.  Lindsey Graham thinks, ..Mitch McConnell thinks.  John Boehner thinks. Eric Cantor thinks. and of course in Tennessee,  with its Big Head Todd and the Monsters….

The idea that thinking an idea makes it brilliant. and ignoring the entire universe because of how ones idea fits into reality, never once even crossed ones little mind….. (Such as “lets shut down government and hold the debt ceiling hostage until they agree to abolish Obamacare.”)

The rest of America is tired of playing these games.  We are tired of being run by stupid little insects.  America’s middle class has lost so much money by having leaders who think really dumb things, and even think they believe in them too.  The middle class’s own lack of personal wealth, own shaky retirement, own job insecurity,  is due to idiots playing games with our lives, like this jerking off time, all the while thinking they are making great gains for civilization…

Simply because hey, it was their idea….It must be great.!!!

By now we should all be tired of playing their games.  I am. Aren’t you?.