Does Experience Count?

I have tried to keep a level head about this particular RTT “initiative”, touted by some as a method of getting the very desirable highly effective teachers to either stay at their high-needs school or move from their already satisfactorily achieving school to a neighboring high-needs school. I really have tried.

I certainly understand the necessity and desire to get really good teachers in front of those students who exhibit the greatest deficits in academic achievement. I certainly understand the pressures to identify effective and highly effective teachers. I can appreciate the need to implement and refine an effective accountability system–a way to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

[As an aside: Did it just recently occur to education leaders that struggling students would greatly benefit from working with good and great teachers? Wouldn’t district administrators, especially those in the position of hiring staff, have known that all along?…

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Why is big money from Virginia coming to school board elections in Delaware?

So, I previously published the Dept. of Elections filing for a Christina School Board candidate, Valene Harris: https://transparentchristina.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/campaign-finance-filing-csd-school-board-election-582012/

and noticed R. Ted Weschler of Charlottesville, VA donated money to her campaign. He also donated to Joanne Johansen in Red Clay as well. He has made other contributions in the past: http://cfis.elections.delaware.gov/cfisquery/controller?JSPName=CONTRIBUTORSEARCHSELECTED&&frmContactNameText=R.%20Ted%20Weschler&&frmAndSw=0

This post isn’t about those who received that money. No candidate would likely turn down a donation, but rather why is money coming from far away and perhaps what else has been done by that person’s money. Let’s see.

First a snippet about him:

The newest addition to the Berkshire Hathaway investing team came to Warren Buffett’s attention in a surprising way.

By Carol J. Loomis, senior editor-at-large

FORTUNE — It is surely unprecedented for a person to spend $5,252,722 to get a job, but in a funny way, that is precisely what Ted Weschler, of Charlottesville, Virginia, did. The details, in all their improbability:

Warren Buffett announced this morning that Weschler, 50, the highly successful managing partner of hedge fund Peninsula Capital Advisors, will soon join Berkshire Hathaway to run a portion of its investments. That move, added to the hiring of Todd Combs last year, is aimed at preparing investment-rich Berkshire for a day when Buffett, who just turned 81, will no longer be running the company’s investments.

And how did Buffett get to know Weschler? It’s here that fact becomes stranger than fiction.

Every year, Glide, a San Francisco church and mission, is the beneficiary of an auction in which the prize for the top bidder is a private lunch with Buffett.

In the first year of the lunch, 2000, the winner donated $25,000 to Glide. The auction price then proceeded to skyrocket, and in 2010, an anonymous bidder won with an amazing $2,626,311 bid.

Then, this year, a bidder also wishing to be anonymous won by upping that bid by $100, to $2,626,411.

So here, in a state of affairs being disclosed publicly for the first time, is the fact: Weschler was the winning bidder in both years.

Now here is a list of his political donations: http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?type=name_address&lat=38.0894550000&oldest=1&lng=-78.4386690000&lname=WESCHLER&fname=R.&off=0

Q1-2011
$50,800 donation to cantor victory fund
Q2-2011
$30,800 donation to national republican congressiona
Q1-2011
$10,000 donation to 7th district republican committe
Q1-2011
$5,000 donation to every republican is crucial (eri
Q3-2011
$2,500 donation to robert hurt for congress
Q3-2011
$2,500 donation to robert hurt for congress
Q1-2011
$2,500 donation to cantor for congress
Q1-2011
$2,500 donation to cantor for congress
Previous election cycles
Q4-2009
$2,400 donation to rob wittman for congress
Q4-2009
$2,400 donation to rob wittman for congress
Q1-2004
$2,000 donation to george w. bush

Is there any doubt left what’s going on? Big, old money is being injected in DE school board races. Anyone think it’s for the kids? or control? Also, does anyone think, for one second, that moving the elections to the general does anything other than magnify this disturbing trend? I wonder, if Mr. Keenan of the DeNovo Corporation ever releases his benefactors from the Voices 4 Delaware Education Action Fund what would we find, perhaps some of this big, old DE money that now comes for Virginia and is routinely used for major Republican candidates like Cantor and George W. Bush ?

Question for Teachers?

When you hear our Governor describe our new Secretary of Education, Mark Murphy, as having a “teacher’s heart”, do you take offense because people with teacher’s hearts generally don’t leave teaching?  I am not questioning Mr. Murphy here, but rather the method being used by Jack Markell to sell Mr. Murphy into his new, very difficult role.