Val Harris denounces Voices 4 Delaware Education Action Fund…or does she?

Although I have made it publicly known that I am disassociating myself with the negative fliers sent on behalf of my campaign, I do feel the need to also place this statement on my website. I did not send the fliers out, nor did I approve them. While I appreciate the work of an advocacy group supporting my candidacy, I do not believe in negative campaigning. Serving on the Christina School board would be a privilege and an honor. I do not desire to tarnish that honor by making offensive statements regarding the board as a whole. I would like to thank all of my followers for their support and encouragement.
                                                            Val Harris~

You be the judge…….

John Young:

Cowards and liars. Good company they sure do make…..

Originally posted on Kilroy's Delaware:

Mommy,Mommy! Look! Someone who has come to three school board meetings sent me my report card in the mail today! by Transparent Christina

Go read here ………………….

We’re getting into that time in the election cycle where were flooded with all those campaign flyers and robo calls. School board candidates start early because their election is May 8th. Can candidates oversell themselves? But in the case of school board elections, many of the flyers aren’t from the candidate themselves. I love the flyers that aren’t endorse by the candidates and wonder why these 3rd parties act of if the candidates have a physical plan. Why don’t the candidates just mail their plans to the public? Markell wrote an entire books. You’d think a school board candidate could write a few pages.



Although I have made it publicly known that I am disassociating myself with the…

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Comment Rescue on secret money in Delaware School Board Elections!

Let’s remember that there are two organizations at play here … Voices4Delaware Education, Inc. (a 501-c-3) and Voices4DelawareEducationActionFund, Inc. (a 501-c-4).
Both organizations have filed Certificates of Incorporation with the Delaware Secretary of State’s Office.
501-c-3: Registered agent is Sylvia Banks; 1502 Hancock Street, #3; Wilmington, DE 19806
501-c-4: Registered agent is William Keenan; c/o DeNovo Corporation; 800 Delaware Avenue – Suite 410; Wilmington, DE 19801.
Contributions to these entities is tax-deductible. They are legally hiding behind the federal Internal Revenue Service Tax Code.
Contributions to these organizations can be made without limit. They are tax-deductible.
Who else is contributing to these organizations?
In what amounts?
From individual and/or corporate funds?
Do either of these entities — PARTICULARLY the 501-c-4 — file campaign finance reports or independent expenditure reports with the State’s Division of Elections????
Under state law, those entities making independent expenditures must file reports detailing sources of funding and amount spent within 24 hours after making the expenditure. It is a transparent process and is available to citizens online.

Ohio Carpetbagger comes to town to buy an election…….

Greg Harris of Voices 4 Delaware Education Action Fund has been told who public enemy number one is……pleased to meet you, Greg.

If you want he truth, call me 219.308.5338

I can’t wait for your”advocacy” organization to kick off…..

Mommy,Mommy! Look! Someone who has come to three school board meetings sent me my report card in the mail today!

Folks, I get it. I know it’s the 501(c)4 called Voices 4 Delaware Education Action Fund mailing these. But until Valene Harris publicly and noticeably distances herself from this specious and secretive election construct, I will put her flyers out there for all to see and I will declare them as being from her in substance since she has not declared otherwise.

On a serious note, I cannot wait to see her plan, in excruciating detail of course.

Dr. Tony Marchio hits a home run on School Board Election in Delaware Voice letter. #netDE

h/t Nancy Willing at Delaware Way


Wilmington News Journal 04/29/2012, Page A31

Just who is running for our school boards?

Anyone who has been fol­lowing national politics will have to wonder what impact the newly permitted “Super PACs” will have on the upcoming presidential campaign.

Many Americans are con­cerned that elections will be won on the basis of money spent and not necessarily on the character and qualifica­tions of the candidates.

While the national election might seem a little far re­moved, surprisingly, a similar movement is occurring in Del­aware with the upcoming board of education elections.

A recent e-mail was sent to various individuals by a group called Voices4Delaware.

It urged recipients to con­tribute $600 to various board candidates that this group supports.

Four districts, including Appoquinimink, were targeted as being “strategically impor­tant” to their mission.

I am not knowledgeable enough to comment on the qualifications of the candidate that was being endorsed for Appoquinimink, nor do I have an issue with him.

The only information that was given about him in the e-mail was that he had attend­ed a Christian school, was an active member of the Repub­lican Party and had attended Leadership Delaware training.

When I contacted the spokesperson for Voices4Dela­ware, I was shocked to learn that none of the other candi­dates running for the board in Appoquinimink were even vetted, leaving me to wonder how could the most qualified candidate be promoted.

School board elections may not have the stature of national elections, but they are abso­lutely critical to the well-being of the communities they serve. I would hope that we would consider all candidates who are running and would ask some very critical questions of each one.

Are these candidates run­ning to serve their schools and community or do they have some personal agenda?

Are these candidates in­volved in our schools so that they understand the critical issues facing education today?

Will these candidates work on behalf of all students in the district?

Do these candidates have enough confidence in the pub­lic school system to send their own children to them?

Hopefully, as the school board elections occur, we will be wise enough to keep ram­pant politics out of the race and elect school board mem­bers who represent kids – not Super PACs or political parties or unions.

Real reform will come to our schools when caring com­munity members who are will­ing to do the right things for the right reasons are elected to boards of education.

Tony J. Marchio is the former superinten­dent of the Appoquinimink School District.



Daily Edu-funny.

Delaware is all in on closing achievement gaps. The question is…..

is it the right strategy to actually good, efficacious policy in our schools?


the whole show:

Bi-partisan Failure: Misreading Education “Gaps” #netDE

It took about twenty years, and then another secondary ten years, but the hysterical and misleading A Nation at Risk under the Reagan administration successfully kicked off three decades of public school accountability.

In the beginning, the hysteria revolved around several points that were factually inaccurate, but publicly effective: (1) U.S. public schools were failing, (2) U.S. students were weak, and possibly lazy, but their schools didn’t do much to challenge them, and (3) because of this cycle of lazy students in failing schools, U.S. international competitiveness was in dire straits.

These claims and the discourse grew from the White House and became recurrent and unquestioned talking points in the media, among the public, and by politicians. At first, throughout the 1980s and 1990s, U.S. public education built state-based standards and testing cycles that targeted primarily students (best typified by the exit exams designed to hold students accountable and insure the value of the high school diploma) and then gradually the schools themselves with the rise of school report cards.

The initial twenty-year cycle of state-based school accountability also spawned governors as education reformers—most notably the fraudulent Texas Miracle during George W. Bush’s tenure in Texas that helped bolster his run for the White House. Bush as education governor became education president and brought Rod Paige along as Secretary of Education to convert the Texas Miracle into a federal version of the state-based accountability movement, now popularly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

In 2012, two important aspects of NCLB are worth considering: (1) NCLB has been repeatedly praised as a bi-partisan effort, but we rarely consider that bi-partisanship by itself doesn’t insure quality (and in education, we have ample evidence bi-partisanship is evidence of failure), and (2) NCLB has also been credited for raising national awareness of the achievement gap, but this second point is evidence of why the bi-partisanship is proof of political failure about education reform.




If you’re not reading The Delaware Libertarian, you should.

Steve Newton is blogging again and has been prolific thus far. He has jumped in on a variety of issues with his unique and thoughtful analysis and internet web gems like the study on the efficacy of diversity training.
Of significant note, Steve blogs education issues and the hot ones since he started blogging again have been charter schools and school board elections. Since we are taking a break after all the venom about charter schools, Steve has joined the fray on elections.
The hot buttons are money and where it comes from, playing nice, and Kilroy’s Delaware’s role in the blogging space of education and elections. For those uninitiated, there is a 501(c)4 called Voices 4 Delaware Education Action Fund (as an aside I find it hilarious that the alt character on the #4 on a keyboard is, drum roll please: $) that has backed “issues” since they can’t back candidates and they do so by disparaging sitting boards and highlighting their preferred candidates without saying “vote for” or “elect” (known as magic words in 501(c)4 land). Steve wants the world to know that this 501(c)4 is merely acting to counteract the longstanding stream of money coming from teachers unions to support their candidates.
I want the world to know that too, in fact Steve had a very good blog post mocking my “realization” of this point which I found to be clever and on point. I detest the 501(C)4 approach because is allows, in this case, a cast of Delaware (and at least one from Ohio) characters to send messages to voters somewhat anonymously. Greg Harris, Paul Herdman, William Keenan and Sylvia Banks would all be completely nameless if it were not for bloggers chasing down incorporation paperwork, making connections, and then trying to make counterpoints.
And that’s where I’m at. Making informed decisions is key. Just like our policy makers and Governor routinely ignore research when making policies about everything from merit pay, to teacher evaluation, to completely blowing up under performing schools without engaging the community, to the indignity of topicless 90 minute PLCs…to the….well, the list is seemingly endless, I do not want voters to make a selection without knowing that the money on one side supports certain things and the money on the other side supports other things.
We make these conclusions most easily by identifying the people in the organization and reflecting on their actions. It seems to me that by choosing to remain anonymous, these folks do not want us to pay attention to their actions….it’s almost like they are sending out these messages and then saying this:
meanwhile the house of Delaware Education is on fire and exploding, right in plain sight.
I’ve made no pretensions about who I back: I back educators.
I believe we need more educators on school boards so we can make better education decisions. I do not understand how the Business Roundtable, Rodel, Vision 2015 and Innovative Schools fit into a PUBLIC system, other than as vendors and ideologues bent on making themselves feel good about helping create a system where kids can test but not think.
Which brings me back to Steve. He makes me think. And he signs his own name. Two traits that have me back everyday to his blog. Keep up the good work Mr. Newton.
I’m waiting for the sun to go down in the West…..

I have been asked to blast Shirley Saffer for not denouncing a Valene Harris hate blog. I can’t….

because she has:

The real question is: Will Ms. Harris publicly denounce the monied interests in the 501(c)4 that are bashing the Christina School Board…..

Things heating up in Appo. School Board Race!!!!

Bob Johnson’s Rants and Raves: Political Agendas….Voting…Lets Go People!

On May 8th the voter polls will open to elect the next school board representative.  That said there are a couple of things that have me extremely concerned about the overall election, the candidates and what a run for school board has become in this district.  First off, historically votes for school board elections are dramatically low.  A statistic I find troubling to say the least.  As parents we hold everything our child does so dear and yet when it comes to electing officials who determine the crucial educational outcomes for our very own, we put the responsibility on others to be the voice and cast a vote.  But who are the people behind the voice who end up casting the most votes and for whom?  If you don’t already know the answer read on, clearly elections in this district, even for a school board, have become political warfare with republicans beating up the polls.
Take for example last year’s race.  A man by the name of Richard Forsten, a Middletown resident who has no children but is a republican and is the Parliamentarian and General Counsel for the Republican Party of Delaware, won the open seat on our district school board.  Why would someone who has no children be interested in a school board seat?  Simple, Forsten has an agenda and the word ‘school’ or ‘children’ is not on it.  This is a man who represents several land developers in our area rather than our children’s best interests.  He used a simple district election, ours, to gain leverage in his political status.  He plans to use that leverage to run for a seat in the newly created District 11.  How did he do it?  Giant signs on the side of the road, pockets lined with politician dollars from the Republican Party who supported and funded his campaign, yet no campaigning was carried out.  There were no meet and greets, no public forum addresses and still he won.  The supporters of candidates like Forsten are a woven knit bunch who backs their own in big numbers.  Unfortunately, the parents in our district didn’t back ‘their own’ [children] by getting out and voting last year.  If you aren’t already frustrated read on and if the rest of this article doesn’t get you out on May 8th, you simply don’t care.
Take this year’s campaign, which has quickly become another year of political battle over democrats and republicans than it is over who is the right person for the job.  Did you know that one candidate; Andy Cherry also holds the republican chair for our district, the colonial GOP chair for the region?  While I am not encouraging a larger political explosion over a school board election you need to consider that Mr. Cherry is doing just that.  He is bullying his competition because he knows there is a strong, viable candidate who has a good shot at winning, her name is Charlisa Edelin.  Cherry is rallying his supporters with email blasts and direct mailings to the Middletown residents who are also members of the Republican Party.  He has chosen to spend his campaign funds on billboard sized signs directly outside his competitions home to foster a tactic of intimidation.  He is using our election in the same way Forsten did last year to gain leverage in his political trail.  Do we really want another ‘wannabe’ politician practicing their skills on our kids?
He can be stopped, we can prove that regardless of political standing or how much money you can afford to spend on giant signs, that we are a small, strong community willing to stand up and vote on behalf of our child’s best interest. 
Consider the opposition, Charlisa Edelin, whose campaign motivation is simple; as a parent with school aged children attending our district’s public schools, she’s not satisfied.  Rather than put the responsibility of creating a better learning environment for the district on those who are looking for their next position on the political trail, she has taken matters into her own hands by running in this election.  She is a strong competitor, well known and respected by many in this community.  Cherry knows it and he will spend every last campaign dollar on giant signs to try and bully her out of this race.  It’s too late to battle over Forsten, he’s already won, but there is time this year by voting Edelin for Education on May 8th.

John Young:

Amen. She had time in between the two mailings and no disavowing or desire to unaffiliate is apparent. In fact she claims to be simply unaware

Originally posted on Mind of Mr. Matthews:

Voices4Delaware Education Action Fund is an off-shoot of the uber-business-friendly education think tank Rodel Foundation. Rodel is a think tank that likes to be taken seriously, but they’re seriously engaging in negative, harmful, and deceitful campaign tactics in the Christina School District.

The first nasty-gram hit on Wednesday. Among other things, the piece — which endorsed candidate Valene Harris over incumbent Shirley Saffer — placed the “failures” of the Christina School District on its seven-member Board. This advertisement may have had no approval from Harris; these PACs can do as they please. However, within 24 hours, Harris should have issued a statement condemning the harsh and inflammatory rhetoric within. She did not.

48 hours later, another negative piece arrived from Voices4Delaware Education/Rodel attacking Saffer and the Board. Question: Why would anyone want to volunteer to run for an unpaid office like school board if they knew they’d be…

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Voices 4 Delaware Education Action Fund sends another dirty coded message to influence school board race

Shame on you Mr. Greg Harris of Voices 4 Delaware Education.

Also, Shame on you too, Valene Harris for not denouncing and for seeking this tactic to inform your voters. It is disgusting.

While we’re at it, shame on you too Ms. Sylvia Banks, Mr. William Keenan, and Mr. Paul Herdman.

All Hell Breaks loose at Pencader Charter Board Meeting!!!!!! Updated at 7:52PM

Blog Update! Below the post is a listing of Pencader Board Members, hold the presses, Shawn W. Klapinsky, CPA  and Board Treasurer, is not on the Pencader website controlled by the school leader. Is this an oversight or a dispute over an alleged resignation letter?  It just keeps getting better folks…..

Delaware Charter Network Internal Spies Report!:
  • Kendall Massett, executive Director of DE Charter network holding secret (admitted to this in public session) meetings with teachers and students behind the Board’s back with intent to train them overthrow the board.
  • Principal Lewis has locked Board President out of her office by changing the locks.
  • Kendall Massett and Principal Lewis asked for board’s resignation en masse.
All of this because the Board fired a teacher for swearing at a student. So, I am left to conclude that the DE Charter network supports unfettered power for school principals whose husbands cuss out kids and also believes that dedicated lifelong professionals serving voluntarily n Boards should be subject to being berated for conducting a proper investigation due to an obvious, nepotism based, conflict of interest. This sends just about the message I would expect from an bully driven organization: straight up screw the kids and fight for the adults!!! Awesome!!!
This is how the DE Charter Network rewards schools and school leaders who drive their school to enrollment death by abdicating their responsibilities to recruit and retain students in a bullshit competitive charter environment.
All I have to say to the DE Charter Network and this insane position they are taking is: Keep up the Good Work! Keep finger wagging and berating people…..the truth is oozing out of your open wounds. This is great theater and I want to see more!


UPDATE: At reader request, here is the BOD list of members:

School Board

The School Board meets the third Thursday of every month at 5:30 PM on campus. CBOC meetings are held on the second Thursday of every month at 5:00 PM.

Contacting the Board members is encouraged after seeking information from the School administration.

Please contact a member of the Board of Directors if you have any compliments, comments, or complaints about school policies, procedures, or a specific incident. The Board may be contacted via the email addresses below or by calling the school at 302-573-7760 and leaving a message for the school board president, Mrs. Harrie Ellen Minnehan.

Download the School Board By-Laws

Position Board Member E-Mail Address
President Ms. Harrie Ellen Minnehan
Vice President Dr. Abraham Jones
Secretary Ms. Amanda Fraser
Vice President Ms. Judi Kennedy
Board Member Ms. Kelly Quinn
Board Member Mr. Steve Quimby
Ad Hoc Member Dr. Ann Lewis
Ad Hoc Member Ms. Amanda Fraser

Pencader Charter school infighting is all time bad stuff,,,,

No we have board members calling meetings at the request of the Charter Network Exec. Director and EXCLUDING the Board President from the communication, just straight up Et tu, Brute style knife wielding verbal behavior.

What a great example for the kids……my DOE mouse patrol had to really dig this one out, someone printed it….andthrew it out..but I got it. Just pays to have friends on the inside down in Dover, especially the IT types…..!  All of these meetings (1st two are actually DIRECTLY related to the BOD) were not approved by the Pencader board in full and the Board President was disrespectfully left off the distribution list. Guess that comes with giving 33 years of your life to teaching poor and needy children, some respect there…..this is disgusting! Does the DE Charter Network condone this abhorrent behavior?

New Website supporting Shirley Saffer for Christina School Board #netDE

Rep. Kowalko lambastes Delaware PTA for their electioneering!

BREAKING NEWS: TC wrong on Sec. Ed. nomination….

Governor Markell hires Vision 2015 executive director to guide state’s schools….

Looking forward to hearing his views on teachers, component V on DPASS-II R and how he plans to use research based solutions!

DE Charter Network spies report in again: screed of lies handed out at Pencader Charter board meeting…..

Below is a document handed out by DE Charter Network Executive Director, Kendall Massett.

UPDATE at 5:33 PM. At the request of the Pencader Board President, a lifelong, selfless educator I am temporarily removing the document for further vetting. I hope to have it back up soon.

updates on DE Charter Network bullying activity to follow later today!