Anybody paying attention can see what’s going on. The alleged D leaders in the General Assembly either aren’t paying attention, or they’re in the bag as well.
Stated simply: Gov. Markell, aided and abetted by his pro-business propagandists, is pursuing a strategy of forcing cuts on the most vulnerable with NO consideration being given to increasing revenues as a means of closing the budget gap.
If you live in Wilmington and are a parent, grandparent, foster parent, guardian, primary caregiver, student or just plain concerned community member — this is a newly formed group that is going to advocate for better equity, access and educational opportunity for Wilmington kids. From the brochure:
The PACE Network joins adults, youth and educators together to imagine, create and advocate for equity, access and more effective learning in schools and community places. The Vision is to ensure all Wilmington youth safely attend quality early learning programs, read on level by 3rd grade, excel in reading, math, science, social studies, technology, arts, sports, extracurricular activities and graduate high school prepared for college/career success. The PACE Network aims to shape a unified voice to advocate for Wilmington students. Families and city residents play a critical role in our children’s education. Network membership is open to parents, grandparents, community members, guardians, foster parents, educators in early care, pre-schools, districts and charter schools enrolling Wilmington students.
…including our very own Cassandra Marshall and (might as well be our very own) Mike Matthews. What I love about this list of leaders who will be part of Bryan Townsend’s campaign is that many, if not most, are people who are vital to our state, yet have generally not been among the party insiders […]
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.
Received this just awhile ago:
Today, I ask for your support as I announce my campaign to represent Delaware in Congress.
Delaware faces a significant challenge: rebuilding an economy that works for all Delawareans and that reverses the inequality spreading across America. That’s why our campaign will champion policies that grow and strengthen the middle class, provide every child with an opportunity to succeed, promote equal justice in the criminal justice system, and ensure retirement security for our seniors.
Four years ago, I was joined by students, community leaders, and neighbors in a grassroots campaign for the Delaware State Senate. Although some doubted our prospects, Delawareans like you showed they’d back a candidate who reaches out, listens, and will always do the right thing for Delaware, even when it’s the hard thing.
Crossroads and its principals have been much in the news recently and subject of a recent post here. Since Crossroads was not contacted in the recent post here, I offered them the chance to tell their story, themselves. That is the guest post from Alberta Crowley that follows. I’m also going to be clear that I know that Crossroads is doing incredible work with a population that is never well served — urban poor kids with mental health and addiction issues. They’ve certainly had their problems — with recent unethical behavior and with a long-running tug-of-war with the state over resources to serve these kids. I’m interested in helping these kids and the people who do — which is why I’m posting Crossroads story here.
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!
I’ve made no secret of my opinion that Mike Barbieri was one of the most effective legislators in Dover during his time there. A serious legislator with the willingness to build coalitions to pass progressive legislation that helps some of our most vulnerable citizens.
Having said that, the relationships between Barbieri, his company (Crossroads of Delaware), the state, and his recent hiring by the state raise all sorts of questions that require answers.
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.
…will be the primary for US Congress between State Rep. Bryon Short and State Senator Bryan Townsend.
It is a battle of the present (and, one hopes, the past) of the Democratic Party vs. a more progressive future.
Make no mistake: Bryon Short is the chosen heir to the mantle of middle-of-the-road mediocrity personified by Tom Carper and John Carney. He, or more likely Ed Freel and his ilk, have chosen ex-Carper staffer Mat Marshall to run his campaign. Carper’s ‘Brain’, Ed Freel, is calling the shots from his UD bunker. Short, of course, served in Carper’s congressional office, and has made no bones about his friendship with Carper and Carney. You may also recall that Bryon Short bottled up a minimum wage increase in his House committee until the bill was essentially emasculated. Although strong on social issues, Short’s principal legislative focus has been on cutting yet more ‘red tape’ that, according to the Chamber and its allies, hobble businesses in Delaware. In fact, Short essentially had a committee created just for him with this run in mind: The (get this) House Economic Development/ Banking/Insurance/Commerce Committee, aka The Business Lapdog Committee.
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’m quite impressed with the progressive positions he has taken on the issues, and I hope we can all do whatever it takes to help him win the Special Election. I’ve decided to print the entire endorsement from Progressive Democrats of Delaware, because he really spells out his positions here:
“Carn(e)y: I can’t go on.
Greek Chorus*: You must go on.”
*Greek Chorus consists of Ed Freel, bifocals at half-mast; Rich Heffron; Sean Barney; Vince Meconi, trolling for yet another high paying job; banking executives; The ‘titular’ leaders of the Democratic Party, including Carper, Coons and Markell; and a cast of insider party aparatchiks with visions of cabinet posts dancing in their heads.
Those not in the Greek Chorus: Progressives. And/or people who support a living wage and/or tax fairness. Plus, of course, the poor.
“I still have serious doubts about their government. So does the Obama administration, for that matter. That’s why this deal is based on mistrust. If some future Iranian regime decides to violate the agreement, we’ll know it.”
I like that quote. Coons to announce his position on Tuesday. Carney, of course, hasn’t made up his mind.
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.
Mark Murphy, co-destroyer of public education along with his governor and boss, is leaving for another ‘opportunity’, not yet announced: “Education Secretary Mark Murphy to Leave Administration after Successful Tenure Marked by Improved Student Achievement Governor nominates long-time Delaware superintendent and leader in state’s schools to build on tremendous progress Dover, DE – Education Secretary Mark […]
Because Wilmington taxpayers spending $8,000 on Uber billboards. Not that $8K would go far in terms of additional policing, but this shows you the fiscal priorities of this Mayor while he and his Police Chief have decided that schilling for more funds from the State is their main job.
The city Office of Economic Development is spending $8,000 under a one-month contract for four billboards with the message “Wilmington proudly welcomes UBER” and a picture of Williams. The billboards also include a website address where residents can apply to become a driver for the service.
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.
Today, we get a hilarious press release from the Mayor’s Office announcing that the WPD’s Operation Disrupt is now coming back. This is the Operation Disrupt put into place with great fanfare after multiple shootings in January — pulling the city’s Community Police Unit, as well as resources from other special units to flood the streets of certain sections of the city with officers. And only for eight hours in the evening and only for 5 days a week. Sundays were covered by NCCOPD and Mondays were covered on an ad hoc basis. Operation Disrupt started winding down in March and by the time that the WPSSC presented its report, Operation Disrupt was a shadow of its former self, with most of the special unit officers returned to their units and the CPU officers preparing to move on to other assignments. This is March 31. The NJ reported that Operation Disrupt was being reconfigured into a 7 officer unit that would specifically target certain areas. Then it said that Operation Disrupt was over on June 5, which may be when the original configuration ended. And then — TA DA! — Operation Disrupt is BACK and Mayor and the Chief are pulling the newly deployed CPU to do the larger effort.
Very proud of Rashmi Rangan and the Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc. for stepping up and asking for an official investigation into whether or not the settlement funds Delaware received have been misued. You’ll remember that the GA grabbed those funds to fill their own budget deficit. The one they created by not being able to ask for additional revenues. And you’ll also recall that California was sued over this same money grab by its legislature and was told by the courts to pay it back. Ms. Rangan sent her request directly to the US Attorney General Loretta Lynch:
By margins significantly larger than Americans as a whole.
If AIPAC gives you permission to use anything other than their propaganda and their money to make an informed decision (Chris, ask them if they’ll let you out of your intellectual padded cell, they might say yes) read this, or at least have a staffer read this to you….