A stay-at-home mom with an obsession for National politics.
pandora's Latest Posts
Watching the Planned Parenthood hearings was wince inducing. It was also one of the best ways to see Republicans in their natural habitat of ignorance and petulance. Everything you need to know about Republicans was on display yesterday. 1. Math is hard Have you seen this chart? Pay special attention to the source listed in […]
Whooocouldaknown??? State Average — Reading: 51.9 percent; Math: 38.8 percent Low Income — Reading: 35 percent; Math: 23 percent Disabilities — Reading: 15 percent; Math: 10 percent Black — Reading: 36 percent; Math: 22 percemt Hispanic — Reading: 40 percent; Math: 29 percent Learning English — Reading: 15 percent; Math: 15 percent I’m also gonna […]
Wonder if these “rules” will apply to Dem women?
Here’s the Delaware Republican Party statement:
Newark, DE: Delaware Republican Party Chairman Charlie Copeland has issued the following statement regarding the release of disturbing audio tapes in which Sussex County GOP officials make offensive comments about women leaders in the Delaware Republican Party and about women in general:
The recent release of audio recordings by DelawareRight.com in which Sussex County Republican leaders take aim at leaders of the Delaware Federation of Republican Women and the Sussex County Republican Women are offensive and counter to the fundamental beliefs of the Republican Party.
Kevin from Exceptional Delaware asked if we could share his post. The State Board of Education is having their monthly meeting at 1:00pm today. The Parent Strike press conference will begin prior to the meeting at 12:30pm in front of Legislative Hall in Dover. If any of our readers attend, let us know in the comments.
As a proud advocate of parent opt out, I watched in horror as Governor Markell vetoed legislation created for parents and their fundamental rights. The News Journal refers to House Bill 50 as giving parents the right to opt out. This is wrong. It’s about honoring a parental right that already exists, an attempt to codify that right and stop schools and the Delaware Department of Education from punishing schools over parent opt-out.
Today, the State Board of Education will have their monthly meeting, and they will discuss Regulation 103. To give some quick back-story here, Regulation 103 covers school accountability. Born out of Race To The Top, Delaware won in the first round partly because we already had this regulation in place. Race To The Top was an abject failure. But the DOE and the State Board are attempting to further legitimize this program under the guise of the Delaware School Success Framework. This “school report card” is nothing more than Federal mandate PLUS the many layers of complexity the DOE added to it. This regulation will put any Title I school in jeopardy if the students don’t perform well on Smarter Balanced. This week, we will hear about the creation of 10 new so-called “Focus Schools” and 4 “Focus Plus Schools”. The DOE will attempt to sell this as yet another way of “fixing” these high-need schools. The truth is, these labels are punitive in nature and are just another step before they become “Priority Schools”. We all know how that went a year ago.
I have a solution that nobody will like. It’s warranted and would address the very neediest, but good luck convincing anybody…
Start paying reparations in the form of schools. The idea that how good a public school is is based on where your parents/guardians live is one of the biggest examples of institutional racism I can think of (beside mass incarceration, maybe).
What other public services work this way? Can you imagine if people moved to ensure their post office was the very best rated post office in the area!
Last week LiberalGeek took a comment I posted about the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) scores and turned it into a graph. Now we have many graphs and charts.
Inside you will find charts of the four districts that serve city of Wilmington students (click on charts inside to enlarge). You will also find a chart of Charter Schools. Pay attention to the trend lines. Some are more obvious than others. Before I continue, let me say this: I do not support the SBA, but since we’ll be using these scores to judge and label students, teachers and schools we need to look at the data. This test will have consequences.
In the ruling, Chief Justice Barbara Madsen wrote that charter schools aren’t “common schools” because they’re governed by appointed rather than elected boards.
Therefore, “money that is dedicated to common schools is unconstitutionally diverted to charter schools,” Madsen wrote.
Justice Mary E. Fairhurst agreed with the majority that charter schools aren’t common schools, but argued in a partial dissenting opinion that the state “can constitutionally support charter schools through the general fund.”
I always wondered why charters just received tax payer money when they weren’t listed on operational referendums. Consider that districts have to clearly spell out how they will use our money if the referendum passes. Shouldn’t the amount being diverted to current (and future) charter schools be listed? Those figures could result in public schools losing operational funds that the public actually, you know, voted on. Our referendum votes include funding these charters. Shouldn’t charters have to tell us how they plan on using our tax dollars?
I’m not even sure where to begin. I’ll start here:
Only half of Delaware students are proficient in English and fewer than four in 10 are proficient in math, according to results of the state’s tough new standardized test, the Smarter Balanced Assessment. (link takes you to the results)
It’s no secret I’m not a fan of standardized tests, mainly because I think we’re using them incorrectly. We focus on handing out gold stars to schools who pass and slap “failing” labels on schools that don’t. But… maybe this is changing?
“There will certainly be an increase in regards to how the state allocates resources–and that’s really part of the value here–let’s understand which districts and which schools have the greatest struggles, and let’s make sure that we, as a state, are able to allocate resources to those students who need it most.”
Hey, that sounds like equitable funding. Could it be? I’m skeptical tho, since I lived through the Priority School fiasco. “Allocate resources” is usually followed with the threat of charter conversion, privatization and closure. We’ll see. That said, if these tests were actually used to help struggling schools (instead of punishing them) I’d change my tune.
I haven’t been blogging a lot because this spring and summer have been crazy. My youngest graduated high school, had her wisdom teeth removed, and attended orientation at the university she finally decided on. My oldest knocked off a summer course at UD (He’s starting his senior year of Mech Engineering and decided to take a required gen-ed Philosophy course over the summer mainly because he knew he wouldn’t give it the attention it needed given his course load this year. Sounded like a good philosophy to me!) Add to that all the shopping for my daughter’s dorm, ordering textbooks, finalizing class schedules, endless list making, packing up two kids, scheduling doctor’s appointments before both of them left the state, and fitting in a lot of family time and you’ll see why my blogging lagged.
I still read DL every day!
But this weekend everything came to a screeching halt. They left. In the blink of an eye I went from having a million things to do and a house full of people (and chaos!) to… silence. That freaked me out.
I’ve come to accept that the Republican establishments only chance of getting rid of Donald Trump is to get him to self implode – since not one of these professed leaders will ever take him on. The best they can do is lob a few personal attacks at him, tsk tsk his tone, and (dare I say it?) point out how un-PC he is. What they don’t do is call out his policy or the substance of his comments.
When Trump made his remarks about Mexican immigrants and the GOP feigned outrage he said, “The crime is raging and it’s violent. And if you talk about it, it’s racist.” Ooh, that line is straight out of the Republican playbook. In GOPland, being called a racist is a gazillion times worse than being a racist.
When Trump said, “He’s (John McCain) not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” the Republican establishment thought, “Ah ha! Now we’ve got him!” What they ignored was the fact that Republicans are quite comfortable in not supporting all the troops. Swiftboating and booing a gay serviceman is a-okay with them.
Which brings us to Trump’s remarks about Megyn Kelly.
According to Kavips (posted on August 1st):
It has been 7 days now that the Delaware Department has sat on the results of the Smarter Balanced Assessments. Day one was the release by other states of their preliminary data alerting all that the state now had the results…
One must ask why in the “most open and transparent administration in Delaware’s history” (Markell’s state of the state claim) we are still waiting for the preliminary data to be released.
Do we really have the results? The test was given last spring (March and April) so you’d think for a test to have educational impact the results would be available quickly.
Never mind that this probably won’t pass… yet. The writing is on the wall, and it doesn’t have a single thing to do with abortion (Hello, Hyde Amendment). But given the rampant ignorance and stupidity within the Republican Party we really need to send a message.
The Senate will vote as early as Monday on a bill to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding, a largely symbolic vote causing pain for centrists in both parties and drawing fire from conservatives who say it won’t satisfy their quest to put the organization out of business.
The bill isn’t expected to garner the 60 votes needed to advance, as nearly all Democrats object to it. Its defeat, however, won’t end the effort to cut off federal money for Planned Parenthood.
When you consider the Hyde Amendment, you need to ask yourself, what is the real agenda of the GOP? The correct answer is that The War on Women continues. This is really about contraception… and women who have the ability to have an enjoy sex (a mythical creature in GOP land, among GOP men and women – which is really sad.) without the fear of pregnancy.
I have avoided this topic, mainly because it seems so obvious. Bill Cosby drugged women in order to sexually assault them. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking with it. Via NYT: While Mr. Cosby insisted the only drug he had given Ms. Constand was Benadryl, he was open about his access in the 1970s to […]
This morning I dropped my daughter off for her university orientation. She’s attending school in Philadelphia – she’s a declared Mechanical Engineering major on scholarship. We are very proud of her accomplishments. So… when a study like this comes out it worries me.
For the study, researchers from Yale University asked more than 100 science faculty members at academic institutions across the country to evaluate one of two student résumés. The résumés were identical except for one small part: The candidate’s name was either John or Jennifer. Despite both candidates having the exact same qualifications and experience, science faculty members were more likely to perceive John as competent and select him for a hypothetical lab manager position.
There are some stories that you just can’t get out of your head. This is one of them. Here’s the brief synopsis:
Three Oakland County children who refused to go to lunch with their father, as part of a bitter divorce and custody battle between their parents, are spending their summer in the county’s juvenile detention center, according to court records.
“We’ll review it when school starts, and you may be going to school there,” Oakland County Family Court Judge Lisa Gorcyca told the children during a June 24 hearing, referring to the center in Waterford Township called Children’s Village, where authorities house as many as 200 juvenile offenders.
Gorcyca, who blamed their mother for poisoning the children’s attitude toward their father, ordered the children be sent to the center for defying her orders — while in court — that they go to lunch with their father.
The children — ranging in age from 9 to 15 — were deemed in contempt of court last month by Gorcyca for disobeying her orders to “have a healthy relationship with your father.”
The Supreme Court has declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. Gay and lesbian couples already can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court’s ruling on Friday means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.
I wasn’t going to write about this, but, today, Al Mascitti made me cry. He was so choked up as he spoke about Beau and his family. So many memories came flooding back. Painful memories, but memories I wouldn’t give up for the world. I’m also publishing this today due to the comments on the other thread. We’ve obviously “gone there” so let me add my insight.
It’s no secret I was in the “medical privacy” camp, but I sorta stayed out of those debates because I could (sorta) see the other side. It was a different conversation because, imo, it removed the humanity of the obvious situation, and while I didn’t understand that side (and I’m not really here to debate that, altho that will probably happen given the comments on the “memorial” thread) my lack of understanding probably had a lot to do with how many times I’ve been up close and personal to this type of situation.
Dying trumps everything. There are no politics, no career moves, no family squabbles, no test scores – These. Things. Do. Not. Matter. At all. If they matter to you, then that is your luxury.
Here’s the truth: There are no rules, no shoulds, no have tos, in regards to a terminal illness. Just like there are no rules to grief. Death is a solitary experience. No one can tell you how to handle this. There isn’t a “correct” way of doing this. The dying person gets to set the rules.
I’ve written about my experience with my best friend in 2011. Allow me to pull a passage from this post.
When a person faces a terminal illness their perspective changes. Instead of focusing on being “cured” – which they accept isn’t an option – they focus on how much time they can buy. As a 47 year old, divorced mother of two teenage boys my friend was obsessed with buying time. I completely understood.
And yet, time was the one thing not discussed. Not by her, or me, or her doctor. It was the elephant in the room. All of us knew time was running out. None of us discussed it. Sometimes saying things out loud makes them more real… too real?
Announcing you are dying is not a simple or easy thing to do – and you get to decide who you share it with and when. If you think it is easy then you have probably not experienced death up close – especially the death of a young person, with children. Saying this truth out loud is nearly impossible. It changes everything. It is admitting defeat. Every day is precious. Every day is a fight and a gift. Every day might be your last.
And telling your children, or having them have to face this reality through the constant chatter of talking heads (Joe Biden went to Delaware. Is he visiting his dying son?) or newspaper articles, is the hardest thing you will ever experience. Dying people don’t care about “your” or “their” concerns or issues – nor should they, because in the big scheme of things any concerns other than their children, spouse and family are things they have moved beyond. Your, our and their concerns are petty. Politics is a silly issue they have moved beyond. (and I love politics, but it goes out the window in this situation.)
This seems like a big deal. Via TPM:
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced on Friday that she had filed murder, manslaughter, and assault charges against city police officers following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
“The state doesn’t have an interest in love and emotion at all,” Mr. Bursch said. “It’s about binding children to their biological moms and dads.”
Several justices were intensely skeptical of that rationale, noting that many gay couples have children. These justices also seemed unpersuaded by Mr. Bursch’s contention that altering the definition of marriage would harm the institution.
This has to be the weakest argument they could choose. It’s so limiting. It also leads to this argument: If marriage is about “binding children to their biological moms and dads” then should people who do not want children, or cannot have children even be allowed to marry? If this argument is accepted then wouldn’t that redefine marriage, far more than gay marriage? It also merges quite nicely with the Republican’s forced birth-anti birth control platform.
As usual, please sign. Here’s the petition’s wording.
The Smarter Balanced Assessment is the new state assessment based on the Common Core State Standards for Delaware. Many states have adopted this assessment as part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, of which Delaware is a part. This consortium was approved by Governor Markell without any legislative approval.
Many parents in Delaware, as well as across the country, believe the Smarter Balanced Assessment, as well as the PARCC test in other states, is not an effective standardized test. Therefore, we are electing our Constitutional right to opt our children out of this assessment. We believe it is a parental right to choose the best educational outcome for our children. We also believe our children are not the property of the state. Many of us have experienced, at a minimum, vast confusion in regards to the opt out time period, which began in earnest in February of 2015, from our Governor, our Delaware Department of Education, our schools, and several administrators from our schools.
This legislation would help codify what is already our right, and would prevent the opted out students from adversely affecting the schools in Delaware. As well, this would also put all the school districts and charter schools in the state on the same level playing field based on a clear and distinct law.
Even though I know there are unique and deserving circumstances, I can’t help but wonder how kids needing remedial courses are even accepted into college, especially University of Delaware which touts itself as highly selective. Okay, I don’t really wonder. Remedial courses are a cash cow for colleges so I understand why they offer them. Having parents/students pay for non-credit courses makes achieving a degree take longer than four years which adds another semester, or two, in tuition and room and board fees… Cha-Ching!