Education

Mark Murphy Blames Teachers’ Union For His Failure to Totally Destroy Public Education in Delaware

Filed in Delaware, Education, Featured by on April 12, 2017 9 Comments

Whoa.  We all had a pretty good idea that Markell’s ‘torch’ wanted to burn public education in Delaware to the ground. Here, in this New York Magazine blog, Delaware’s former Secretary of Education verifies what we thought. All of this in his own words: Imagine if the teachers’ union was a gatekeeper for quality teaching: […]

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Should Delaware Consolidate Its School Districts

Filed in Delaware, Education by on February 3, 2017 14 Comments
Should Delaware Consolidate Its School Districts

The Joint Finance Committee met the other day to discuss Delaware’s Department of Education budget, the Delaware State News reported. Sadly, even though Delaware spends over $1 billion dollars on education, it doesn’t seem like much happened.

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How Democrats Created Betsy DeVos

Filed in Education, Featured, National by on January 22, 2017 6 Comments
How Democrats Created Betsy DeVos

While educators and politicians throughout the land are recoiling at the notion of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, Democrats created her. Or someone like her. The Democratic Party’s embrace of corporate education, corporate textbooks, corporate testing and corporate-sponsored ‘education reform’ is what led to this.

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UD President Absent from Presidents’ Letter to Trump

Filed in Delaware, Education by on January 18, 2017 4 Comments
UD President Absent from Presidents’ Letter to Trump

A letter from college and university presidents to President-Elect Trump asks Trump “to condemn and work to prevent the harassment, hate, and acts of violence that are being perpetrated across our nation”.

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The Settlement Between Christina and Charters Should Stand

Filed in Education by on December 8, 2016 4 Comments
The Settlement Between Christina and Charters Should Stand

The Short: Christina School District, DOE, and the general public gain previously non-existent oversight on how Charter Schools spend restricted money they are conditionally entitled to at a cost to the District of $150,000 (a one time payment to be divided equally among all 15 Plaintiff Charter Schools) plus the District’s legal fees.

Now, if you’re interested in the gritty details, come on inside and get comfortable, it’s a long read.

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BREAKING: Charters vs Christina School District & DDOE Settlement

Filed in Education, Featured by on December 2, 2016 4 Comments
BREAKING: Charters vs Christina School District & DDOE Settlement

What’s it mean? The funds generated by the 2003 Christina School District referendum (10 cent referendum) that went to pay for 4 specific district programs will now be shared between District schools and all Charters and Choice schools that have Christina resident students attending them, it’s straight up division. Total revenue from $0.10 tax, divided by total number of Christina resident students enrolled in District, Charter, and Choice schools going forward (FY 18 and beyond).

For the current fiscal year (FY 17), Christina will take the total generated revenue from the $0.10 referendum (approximately $5.5 million according to the settlement), divide it by the total number of students and make payments to the appropriate schools by December 3oth. In addition to a one time payment in the amount of $150,000 to each of the plaintiff charter schools, which totals $2,250,000.

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It’s Settled?

Filed in Education by on December 1, 2016 4 Comments
It’s Settled?

Nutshell: 4-3. Settlement accepted. What remains to be seen is how the best interests of our students are being served by taking the settlement. Once the language is made public, we’ll get a good idea of what each board member believes is in the best interest of our kids.

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We don’t need no education

Filed in Delaware, Education, National by on November 24, 2016 7 Comments
We don’t need no education

As a former public school teacher, I loved nothing more than having an administrator, with NO teaching experience, come into my classroom with a clipboard and a checklist to tell me how to do my job better. I mean—if it’s on the checklist, it must be easy to implement in a classroom with 25+ students […]

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When Opinions Get It Wrong (Again)

Filed in Education by on October 18, 2016 41 Comments
When Opinions Get It Wrong (Again)

When a Board of Education approves the request for an operating tax increase that specifies exactly what the new revenue will be used for within the District and voters approve it, that revenue shall only be used for the purposes described on the ballot as approved by the voters.

A specific example would be the operating tax increase request from Brandywine School District earlier this year to renovate 3 of their athletic fields with a new artificial turf surface. If it were approved, the revenue generated from the tax increase would only be used to renovate those 3 fields. No portion of the revenue would be included in the ‘local cost per student’ formula that determines the funding sent to charters for each student. Why? Because voters would have approved ballot language that stated an exact use for the money which, in this case, was for 3 of Brandywine School District’s athletic fields. This money, though local operating revenue, would have been a district specific exclusion, as mandated by voters.

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It Was Bound To Happen – Charters Sue Christina & State

Filed in Education by on October 5, 2016 20 Comments
It Was Bound To Happen – Charters Sue Christina & State

“Fifteen charter schools have filed suit against the state Department of Education and Christina School District to get what they claim is their fair share of funding.”

As you may be aware, the issue of public school districts hiding money from deserving Charters has been brought up before. Many times. Most recently in August, when the results of a months long funding adjustment made by DOE were first made public in the form of recalculated charter bills sent to the Districts. That was when the General Assembly, District leaders, and the public first became aware that changes were made and it eventually became clear that what started as a “statewide adjustment” of local per student funding was really just a thinly veiled attack on Christina School District originating from the Western Newark area.

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Delaware Department of Education Pulls a Fast One

Filed in Education by on August 29, 2016 21 Comments
Delaware Department of Education Pulls a Fast One

A rising tide lifts all boats. With Christina slashing $9 million last year, this new formula applied retroactively would have increased Christina’s cost per student by roughly 3% resulting in a net increase payout this year for Charters that receive Christina resident students…despite the District having to decimate its budget last year.

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Choose One: Smaller Classes, Art, Library, Gym, or Music

Filed in Education by on June 15, 2016 21 Comments
Choose One: Smaller Classes, Art, Library, Gym, or Music

Librarian-Gate is happening right now in Christina School District. It’s kind of unfair to target just this one District though, because the other 15 districts have to go through this every year too. Someone somewhere got it from someone else that District administrators “promised” all librarians would be returning to Christina schools if the March […]

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Brandywine’s Referenda: Take 2

Filed in Education by on May 16, 2016 17 Comments
Brandywine’s Referenda: Take 2

So what’s all this mean? When a District goes out for an operating referendum they’re not going out because the Superintendent wants a raise or because they want gilded flatware in their cafeterias. They’re going out because they can’t keep paying for everything they currently have without more revenue -or- getting rid of existing staff and programs. The only way Districts get more operating revenue in Delaware is by asking residents to raise their own property taxes. Take a look at Christina this year and what changes we had to make because we failed twice to pass an operating referendum last year. Class sizes pushing 40, no librarians in our high schools, scaled back guidance services, no after-school transportation for extracurriculars, most extracurriculars cut. This will be a reality for BSD next year without passage tomorrow. Slashing $8 million out of an operating budget will pretty much decimate the same things.

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Sussex School Districts Shine in Board Elections

Filed in Education by on May 11, 2016 7 Comments
Sussex School Districts Shine in Board Elections

A reader pointed out that I did not include any results from the Sussex districts last night. Full disclosure; I gave up refreshing the Dept of Elections page waiting for results to be tabulated and went to bed. Think it’s too much to ask that our 3 county state report election results identically across each county? […]

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Delaware Contested School Board Seats – Unofficial Results

Filed in Education by on May 10, 2016 11 Comments
Delaware Contested School Board Seats – Unofficial Results

Abysmal turnout featured for Delaware School Board elections. Winners: Christina SD- Paige, Capital SD- Jackson, Caesar Rodney SD- Marasco, Lake Forest SD- Dempsey.

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Christina School District Board Elections

Filed in Education by on May 9, 2016 4 Comments
Christina School District Board Elections

I was asked in a comment on another post to weigh in on the Christina School District’s School Board elections tomorrow. I said my response deserved its own post; so here we go. I’ve been following the candidates over the last several weeks reading what they’ve been putting out on social media, listening to the feedback from people who attended the candidate forums. Tonight I attended the final candidate forum in person to hear the candidates first hand and I walked out feeling the same way I felt walking in.

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April School District Happenings: New Castle County Edition

Filed in Education by on April 5, 2016 4 Comments
April School District Happenings: New Castle County Edition

The oft unnoticed school board elections are happening in every New Castle County school district May 10th. In only one of the districts is an actual contest taking place. 5 of the 7 seats up for election across the county have candidates running unopposed, which too often is the case in BOE elections.

As anticipated, Brandywine School District will be returning to the public sometime in May seeking approval for capital and operating referenda. Last evening their Board voted to go back out; this time there will be no turf involved.

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13,395 Votes

Filed in Education by on March 24, 2016 15 Comments
13,395 Votes

145 votes may not seem like a lot, but considering the margins from prior failed referenda: 2000 votes in February 2015, 900 votes in May 2015, there appears to be a trend emerging. 8100 total votes in February, 11,000 in May, 13,395 tonight. We closed a gigantic gap in a little over 1 year and got this referendum passed. There will be much analysis to come, but for right now I just want to give the unofficial final tally, and throw up a quick graphic of the percent change in turnout totals from May 2015 to March 2016. Our city of Wilmington community came through HUGE for u

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Polls are Open

Filed in Education by on March 23, 2016 20 Comments
Polls are Open

In Christina, Brandywine, and Cape Henlopen School Districts the polls are now open for Super Referendum Wednesday. They will remain open until 8pm this evening.

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Accurate Education Funding Data is Hard to Come By, Unless You Know Where to Look

Filed in Education, Featured by on March 22, 2016 8 Comments
Accurate Education Funding Data is Hard to Come By, Unless You Know Where to Look

Non-special school Christina School District Expense Per Pupil from State & Local Funding Sources: $10,899.97. Christina School District Expense Per Pupil from Local Funding Sources (your property taxes, Christina residents): $5,001.31

And those are the actual numbers. Not some artificially inflated, skewed, misleading fuzzy math number those other guys are spewing.

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What Brought the No Votes to Christina? Part I

Filed in Delaware, Education by on March 14, 2016 13 Comments
What Brought the No Votes to Christina? Part I

A commenter on my previous post about supporting public education and “Super Referendum Wednesday” asked specifically about the Christina School District’s two failures last year and if there were any themes from no voters as to why they voted the way they did. Rather than answer it inline, I felt those themes deserved their own posts for visibility sake, That way the types of misinformation we have campaigned against for the last several years is put on display.

Yes, there are common themes among the no-voters that emerged from both elections, and they persist even today. Check out the CSDpavingtheway or Official District’s Facebook pages for proof. Better yet, read the comments on any article the News Journal posts about Christina on delawareonline.com, just be sure to have your eye bleach ready.

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