Once again Rodel strains credibilty to the max. Help me understand what appear to be just straight up fabrications of accomplishments. #eduDE #netDE #seriously?

So I’m checking out the Rodel blog and run across this gem from Dr. Paul Herdman:

As Board Chair of the Vision Network of Delaware, I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Dana Diesel Wallace as its new Executive Director. The Vision Network is a coalition of school districts and charter schools that are focusing their efforts on three specific areas proven to be critical to student performance: building leadership capacity, strengthening instructional focus, and developing a culture that supports student success. The Network is comprised of 28 schools across eight districts and three charter schools, impacting 23,000 students in all three counties.

After a national search that included more than a 100 applicants, the Vision Network board has selected Dr. Wallace, and we believe she will be a great fit.  Dana began her new role Monday, filling the post vacated by Mark Murphy when he was appointed Delaware Secretary of Education. She most recently served as the Vice President of School Development for North Carolina New Schools, a public-private catalyst for education innovation.  Much like the Vision Network of Delaware, only larger, North Carolina New Schools has joined with partners in business, education, and government to develop and support about a hundred secondary public schools across the state.

During her more than 20-year education career, Dana has been a teacher, principal, administrator, and superintendent.  She has a bachelor’s degree in education from Old Dominion University, a master’s in educational leadership from Harvard University, and a doctorate in education from Teachers College at Columbia University. Dana worked for Wake County Public Schools as the senior director for middle school education, and then served as the superintendent of West Fargo Public Schools in North Dakota. As Superintendent, she and her team fundamentally redesigned their curriculum and established a dual enrollment program. In her time there, she moved her district from the 50th percentile in AYP across all grades to approximately the 90th.

Here are the reports from the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (beginning with the year BEFORE her superintendency and ending with her final year):

I just don’t see the 50th to the 90th claim at all. Just look at the composite scores. Take note at the bottom of EACH PAGE :AYP not met, each and every year.

Is this the excellence VISION 2015 was seeking from 100 applicants? Really?

Here’s the source link from North Dakota: http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/dpi/reports/Profile/index.shtm

Lastly, why is it always the bloggers who find this crap out first? Purely rhetorical, but my guess is you have to be interested in the answer is a good place to start. To Rodel I must offer, it appears to be exactly the fit you wanted in keeping with your terrible track record of missing targets thus far firmly established by VIsion 2015!


John Young:


Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Since I wrote that I could not support the Common Core, several readers have written to say that I criticized the process of its creation and implementation, not its content. My response to more than one reader was that means and ends both matter. You can’t do the right thing in the wrong way. You can’t suspend democratic process for what you think is the good of the people. Good things imposed by force tend not to stick. (See my thoughts–written in March 2014–about “The Fatal Flaw of the Common Core Standards“, which demonstrates that they violated every protocol of standard-setting and ignored due process, transparency, the right of appeal, etc.)

This reader explains her objections to the process:

My thoughts on the CC:

Subtexts: Close Reading of the Common Core

As ridiculous as it sounds, my resistance to the common core standards is disconnected from its content. The…

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Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

I have thought long and hard about the Common Core standards.

I have decided that I cannot support them.

In this post, I will explain why.

I have long advocated for voluntary national standards, believing that it would be helpful to states and districts to have general guidelines about what students should know and be able to do as they progress through school.

Such standards, I believe, should be voluntary, not imposed by the federal government; before implemented widely, they should be thoroughly tested to see how they work in real classrooms; and they should be free of any mandates that tell teachers how to teach because there are many ways to be a good teacher, not just one. I envision standards not as a demand for compliance by teachers, but as an aspiration defining what states and districts are expected to do. They should serve as a promise that…

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Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

The letter-grading system that is spreading across many states originated in Florida during Jeb Bush’s tenure as governor. His goal was to show how poorly public schools were doing and to blame schools if students had low test scores, thus diverting attention from the social and economic causes of poor performance in school. Red states love letter grades, as does Mayor Bloomberg in New York City, who has advanced privatization as much as he could during this three terms in office.

This reader writes about the sham of the Indiana letter grade system:


Can you imagine taking your child to a doctor who knowingly and willfully misdiagnoses your child with cancer and recommends immediate, intense chemotherapy?

Further, even though you questioned the doctor and he could not explain how he came up with the diagnosis; he could not point to any direct source of cancer; he demanded you subject…

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Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

The Indiana State Senate voted to halt implementation of the Common Core standards until there had been hearings across the state. The action was brought about by the fervent opposition of two angry moms.

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Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

These days, parents and educators often feel powerless in the face of the powerful forces that are steamrolling them.

In Indiana, two moms started a campaign against he Common Core standards. They started with small groups, then organized large ones, and eventually made their voices heard in the state legislature.

The battle is far from over, but hey made an important point. This is still a democracy. Two informed citizens can make a difference.

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DOE already planning transition of Pencader students. #netDe #eduDE


Breaking News: Pencader. #eduDE



Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

A few days ago, my six-year-old grandson, who attends first grade in a public school in New York City, called to ask a question.

He said, “Ama, I am doing a data analysis. I need to ask you a question.”

I said, “You are doing a WHAT?” He repeated, “I am doing a data analysis.”

Then he asked whether I would rather be a porcupine or a hedgehog.

I thought a minute and said I would rather be a hedgehog.

He was very surprised. I knew he was doing something related to the Common Core, but I still thought he was a little young to get my mini-lecture about Isaiah Berlin’s famous essay about War and Peace.

He asked why I wanted to be a hedgehog, and I said that the hedgehog knows one big thing.

He asked me what the big thing was that I knew.

And I…

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So last night I went to TELL Delaware for a response rate update, and this happened. #eduDE #netDE #nocontrol

So last night I was checking in on the survey and I started here: http://www.telldelaware.org/

and was greeted with an update:

Feb. 18 UPDATES: The statewide response rate is now over 54%!   A special congratulations to the district of Smyrna who now joins Appoquinimink with every school in the district over the minimum response rate of 50% and there are seven more districts that are just a few schools shy of reaching this goal. There are now 147 schools across the state that have reached the minimum response rate and will have their own data to use in school improvement plans!

To view the response rate for every school in the state, please click on the “Response Rate” button located above.

 Educators, this is your chance to be a part of the decision making and planning in your own school and district! If you need an anonymous access code to complete the survey, please contact the Help Desk by calling the toll-free number (1-855-258-2818) or click on the “Need Help” button located above.

So I thought to myself that I’d like to see the method for gaining a code by following their instructions and clicking on the NEED HELP button at the top of the page. That lead me here: http://www.telldelaware.org/help/index

TELL Delaware


Submit an issue

Your name

Your phone

Your email

Your school

select a school

Subject of your inquiry
Your comment or question
So, I proceeded to fill out the request. I used a fake name, so I could protect my own anonymity (they don’t make that recommendation and I’m not sure why since this is a one request = one code form), told them I worked at Christina Early Education Center and used an aol.com email address. The response upon form submission indicated they would be in touch. This morning, I went into my email to find this:
—–Original Message—–
From: TELL DE 2013 helpdesk <helpdesk@www.telldelaware.org>
Sent: Wed, Feb 20, 2013 7:37 am
Subject: Helpdesk Response for TELL DE 2013

Thank you for contacting the help desk. The code you requested is listed below 
and is also located in the attached pdf. Please note that each code is unique 
and may only be used once. 

1 codes generated for Christina Early Education Center

This is regarding ticket #3945
PDF_survey_codes_for_ticket_#3945 PDF_survey_codes_for_ticket_#3945
245K   View   Download

Here is the .pdf:

I was a bit surprised. Obviously, I was not vetted. I am not the target audience. The fake name is not on a roster of eligible people. So I have some questions which I sent into the News Journal today. Nichole Dobo has posted them as an update to her blog here: http://blogs.delawareonline.com/delawareed/2013/02/16/deadline-extended-for-tell-delaware-survey/

Here they are:

  • since the form asks for a name and IF someone uses their real name (fake names are not specifically advocated for on the form) when the single code is issued, as this one was, how is that person’s anonymity guaranteed since it is one-to-one assigned to the person?
  • why did they not vet the name submitted against a roster of eligibles at CEEC to determine if a code should be offered?
  • has anyone gotten more than one code, either through this mechanism or by getting additional codes from coworkers who did not want to take the survey for whatever reason?
  • How many ineligible people have been issued codes?

I do have a few more questions:

If I were the Governor, I’d be asking for my money back. The taxpayers deserve it.

Almost forgot, here’s the response rate update: http://www.telldelaware.org/progress/index  up to 55.04% from 54.00% on 2/15/13 when it was extended, a slow slog

*** UPDATE***

Union President not happy with me based on yesterday’s post: http://doesexperiencecount.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/holy-survey-batman/  not to worry Rodelians, we still both care about teachers far too much to not get to the other side of this kefuffle.

John Young:

lunch time test prep is surely next.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Remember the obesity crisis? Guess not.

In the mad obsession to raise test scores and to outcompete the world, physical education classes are being turned into opportunities to teach reading, math, geography, and almost anything that might be on the test.

The story reads:

On a recent afternoon, the third graders in Sharon Patelsky’s class reviewed words like “acronym,” “clockwise” and “descending,” as well as math concepts like greater than, less than and place values.

“Ms. Patelsky, the physical education teacher at Everglades Elementary School here, instructed the students to count by fours as they touched their elbows to their knees during a warm-up. They added up dots on pairs of dice before sprinting to round mats imprinted with mathematical symbols. And while in push-up position, they balanced on one arm and used the other (“Alternate!” Ms. Patelsky urged. “That’s one of your vocabulary words”) to stack oversize Lego…

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TELL Delaware security question: If a teacher who wants to take it asked for and got numbers from other teachers who didn’t want to take it, how would anyone know? #netDE #eduDE

There are so many variables in a SLOP survey to control.

One common type of convenience sample produces surveys that researchers call self-selected opinion polls, or SLOP surveys.  As the name suggests, the sample in a SLOP survey is not selected randomly. Instead, individuals choose whether to participate. Margin of sampling error cannot be estimated for a SLOP poll, no matter how large. The classic example of a convenience sample is one done by interviewers who stand in a shopping mall and ask shoppers as they walk by to fill out a survey. That’s perhaps a good way to meet new people but a bad way to select a representative sample of any group. The people who agree to participate may be different than those who do not.

Researchers have learned, often to their great embarrassment, that these types of samples often produce flawed results. Respondents who volunteer to participate in such surveys tend to be more extreme or otherwise very different in their views than those who do not. In no way can they be said to be representative of the population, so the survey results cannot be used to say anything useful about a target population.

The Internet is awash with SLOP polls that invite people to answer a question and then view the results. In addition to attracting only those with an ax to grind on a particular issue, even the best Internet-derived convenience samples currently tend to include too few older people, minorities and less affluent, less well educated. In short, they tend to miss people who don’t have access to a computer or an Internet connection. These surveys also invite manipulation, as a number of news organizations have learned to their dismay.

Even if the anonymity is protected, how can the DOE prevent survey manipulation like the simple kind I posited in my post title?  Here’s what I can tell you: the TELL Delaware survey was at EXACTLY 54% on 2/15/13 and here we are on 2/19/13 at 54.78%.  Looks like the extension is failing to drive participation. I wonder what the cause is. Perhaps it’s Facebook related.

That said, here’s a quick paper on how the style of survey employed here (Self selecting or SLOP)  can be often sheer bunk:

I apologize for the lack of funny causation graphics to help make my point.

Originally posted on kavips:

On this link, there is a test question that hit the schools in New York State and the questions regarding that story.

Simply put, if you don’t take the time to do this test, ( 5 minutes) you should not have any say in education.

Once you see this, you cannot have any qualms as to why our children are failing….

  • It is not the teachers.
  • It is not the principals.
  • It is not the school boards.
  • It is the test.

Btw, what score did you get?

Why is this so?

Well let’s examine what happens when a state or a school district fails?  Angry parents call their legislators. Legislators demand more tests. More tests cost more money. Legislators demand and get more money to make more tests to help analyze and to study the problem.

Our question is:  who gets rich?

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Originally posted on kavips:

MSNBC just put up a critique of Texas education.. Texas  was the instigator of No Child Left Behind which when Obama took over, became Race To The Top.

It started in Texas.  It is about to end, … in Texas.

A coalition of parents nicknamed  Mothers Against Drunk Testing has taken the fight to the Texas Legislature.   Soon, it appears Texas will lead the nation again on education,… by banning the role testing plays in analyzing the competency of education.

The problem underlying both No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top is not in its philosophy. It is not in its intent.  It is not in its principles.   It is … the test.

There is a reason these tests are top secret.  Here is the story of one that leaked out…   The Hare and the Pineapple…..

Subsequent inspection showed….” On the fourth-grade exam…

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John Young:

Excellent post!

Originally posted on Does Experience Count?:

Ever hopeful and naive, I looked at the title of this piece featured in a recent Ed Week on-line publication, Why Educators’ Wages Must Be Revamped Now, and imagined that this would speak engagingly and convincingly about the need to redesign educator salaries from the good old single salary pay scale to a more contemporary, leading-edge plan for compensation that would ultimately pave the way for a career ladder for teachers and specialists, as well as for para-educators.

In the inbox of my email, the message only included the title.  I actually saved this from February 7 to review it when I had time this weekend. I was instantly dismayed when I went to the link and found that the precis stated: “With budgets tight, states must link teacher pay to student achievement, Eric A. Hanushek writes.” (Mr. Hanushek is the Paul and Jean Hanna senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.)

Needless to…

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News Journal’s education coverage tied to former editor of the current education reporter leaving to be PIO for the DOE? #netDE #eduDE

It’s hard to say really. So many things may explain the pro ed reform coverage or lack of criticism for the policy and practice of the DOE by the state’s leading newspaper since Alison Kepner left. As the News Journal’s blog says: “we also know figuring out the cause for any event isn’t simple”

Here’s a graphic that helps you to understand if the NJ is sold out to the reform movement spearheaded by the DOE by showing some other causal relationships that are so ridiculous one could only conclude I am just trying to trash the News Journal: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/correlation-or-causation-12012011-gfx.html

Remember, it comes from a highly respected news source, Businessweek magazine.

John Young:

there’s at least one other school with more respondents that eligible, some survey!

Originally posted on the seventh type:

Charter School of Wilmington has 55 educators, and 56 responses recorded for the Tell Delaware survey. Damn overachievers :-)

The survey has been extended a week, so I suppose we could still see more responses from CSW.

Vote early and often!

Update 2/18: I thought this discrepancy was likely innocent and was more amusing than scandalous, but apparently DOE took it seriously enough to contact me with some very reasonable explanations. Namely, the initial count may be slightly off, or teachers work in different buildings but voted in another, and that the counts will probably be corrected later. Of all the things DOE chooses to take seriously on this blog!

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Duncan lies to DE teacher, straight up. #netDE #eduDE

For El Somnambulo: The Alabama Shakes!