***UPDATE*** Poison Pill Alert! Senator Sokola attacks the Professional Standards Board (PSB) without provocation with SB 210! #netDE #eduDE

***In case you were wondering if it could get more oppressive: in return for concessions on make up of the PSB, Senator Sokola now grants Governor Markell veto rights in his “substitute bill” over up to five lists of 20 recommendations. Unilateral veto rights.

(c) With respect to appointments pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the designated organization or person shall provide the Governor with a list of potential appointees 60 days prior to the expiration of a term or within 30 days after a vacancy of any term. The Governor may require that a specific number of potential appointees, up to 20, be included on any list submitted. The Governor may reject all potential appointees on the list and request up to 4 additional lists at the Governor’s own discretion.  If the designated organization does not submit a list to the Governor as provided in this subsection, then the Governor shall submit the Governor’s own appointments for any vacancy.

Insane. The case for “no” just got stronger.***

Here’s Sokola’a idea of “progress”




Section 1: Amend Chapter 12, Title 14 of the Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by strike through and insertions as shown by underline as follows and by re-designating accordingly:

§ 1206 Composition and governance of the Professional Standards Board.

(a) The Standards Board shall consist of 16 13 voting members as follows:

(1) Eight Six public school teachers, no less than 2 1 from each county, with 1 being a special education teacher, 1 being a teacher specialist and at least 1 teacher each from the high school, middle school and elementary school levels and 1 from the city of Wilmington. The 8 6 public school teachers must be selected from a list supplied by the Delaware State Education Association in accordance with subsection (c) of this section. Each teacher appointed to the Standards Board must have demonstrated excellence in that teacher’s own field by achieving honors or special recognition in that teacher’s field, including, but not limited to state, district or building level Teacher of the Year, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification, or the Presidential Award for Excellence.

(2)  Two specialist educators representing 2 different areas of specialty.  The 2 specialist educators must be selected from a list supplied by the Delaware State Education Association in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

(2 3) Four Three public school administrators, with at least 1 being from each county, selected from a list supplied by the Delaware Association of School Administrators in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

(3) One member of a local school board selected from a list supplied by the Delaware State School Board Association in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

(4) Two parents with children in public schools, from separate counties, selected from a list supplied by the Secretary of Education. The Secretary shall solicit nominations from groups such as the Delaware Congress of Parents and Teachers, the Delaware Parent Leadership Institute, and formal advisory councils in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

(5) One representative of higher education selected from a list supplied by the Council of Presidents in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

(b) The Governor, by and with the consent of a majority of the members elected to the Senate, shall appoint each voting member of the Standards Board for a term of up to 3 years, except that initial appointments are for the following terms: 5 members for an initial term that expires 2 years following the date of appointment; 5 members for an initial term that expires 3 years following the date of appointment; and 5 members, including the chair of the Standards Board, for an initial term that expires 4 years from the date of appointment to allow that no more than 5 members’ terms expire in any year. The Governor shall designate appoint 1 voting educator member to serve, at the pleasure of the Governor, as chair of the Standards Board. The members of the Standards Board shall elect a vice chair. A member of the Standards Board serves until that member’s successor is appointed. A member appointed to fill a vacancy serves for the remainder of the term of the member whom that member replaced. A Standards Board member is eligible for reappointment. If a disciplinary proceeding is initiated against a board member, the member may not participate in Standards Board business until the charge is adjudicated or the matter is otherwise concluded.

(j) The initial 15 voting members of the Standards Board must be appointed no later than 90 days after the enactment of this act.


This Bill changes the composition of the Professional Standards Board by reducing the number of members. It also changes the term of membership from 4 years to 3 years.

Author: Senator Sokola

Here’s what it really means. There are certain people/ideas/concepts that no longer matter. In no particular order:

  • Special Education teachers

  • Specialists

  • Diversity of grade levels

  • School Board members

  • stability of term length

  • Counties

  • DE Congress of Parents and Teachers

  • DPLI

  • re-apointment

  • Higher Education, period it appears.

Why you ask? Well, here’s a few ideas:

  • More control of allowing DOE and DSEA to come and directly rep themselves to PSB issues (PSB originally designed for independence)

  • More gubernatorial control (if that’s even possible in a Jack Markell regime)

  • Keep IHE’s sidelined (too busy sending their grads out of state and to charter schools to game SB51 is my guess as to why they may not fight this)

I received some passionate concern about this bill including a reminder about how PSB  was established around 12-15 years ago as a non-partisan, non-agendized, think tank, watchdog and review, standards setting board for the State of Delaware.  DOE only does their paperwork for mileage, etc….Seriously, the PSB was designed to be Switzerland.

Now, it’s under attack and NATO is in the vicinity, but appears toothless. This is NOT a cost savings opportunity. When boards shrink they become subject to additional pressures of group-think and confirmation bias, especially when the governor, ANY governor, can stack the deck to make sure the PSB aligns with the rest of the agenda. I mean seriously, eliminating counties, school board members and elevating parents to while eliminating overall positions will merely serve to concentrate the focus of the board to the narrowest of agendas. Democracy demands experience, breadth and depth. It demands all those and passion. Why or how is Delaware served by shrinking this board?

It’s not, and that makes two things very clear: the folks sponsoring/authoring the bill are probably aligned with the Governor’s agenda and it’s the clearest most obvious no vote on the upcoming “mad dash” to hoodwink legislators

I mean the bill to remove school board members from the PSB was introduced on school board elections day, talk about dirty politics…right up Sokola and Scott’s alley.

Don’t fall for it.

Vote no on SB 210!

If fact, it’s such a bad bill, here’s their marketing strategy:


I also have it on good authority, if passed, that someone may literally have a series of TIA’s that will be follow ups to the stroke already suffered when the bill was filed. Don’t let that weigh on your conscience. Vote no.






6 thoughts on “***UPDATE*** Poison Pill Alert! Senator Sokola attacks the Professional Standards Board (PSB) without provocation with SB 210! #netDE #eduDE

  1. Joanne Christian

    Holy Sokoli! Where is BATMAN when we need him! The Gotham grab continues……Please Jimmy Olsen, and Kilroy, and Pandora, and Mae West, and kavips…….Assume your positions!!!! Thank you John Young! Hi Ho Silver!!!

  2. Prop Joe

    Sokola’s thing aside for a moment… Joanne, by the stated rules and regulations of the PSB, you are not eligible to serve on it. It says “school board member”, which you have not been for nearly two years now. I would think that a basic issue like that, noncompliance with regulations, would be equally as maddening to bloggers, yet it isn’t. Have you stepped down and lazy DOE just hasn’t updated the PSB website (the TLEU person in charge of that could be on vacation)? I wonder how quickly JY and Kilroy’s heads would explode if a person seemingly in eligible to serve on the State or a local school board kept serving several for several years after that eligibility came in to question…

    Am I completely wrong on all of this?

    1. John Young

      Prop Joe,
      By current bylaws an the law itself, I can’t disagree with your point, BUT will say that if the DSBA 1) does not object and 2) actively supports that she is the rep from the school boards then her legal status as one/not one means little to me.

      As for PSB overall, it has become infested by DOE and outside interests literally inserting themselves into process for decision making. The Governor essentially directs the board, rather than ensures it is properly constructed and then let it do its job. He has a know history of disdain for boards that deign to disagree with him an the PSB is no exception. It is his tool to align his edreform ideas.

      In conclusion, you’re not wrong, but this bill is trying to remove school board members from the list of eligible/required PSB members notwithstanding the current issue of school board status.

      The bill should be amended to read that one PSB member will be seated by majority vote of the Delaware School Boards Assn (DSBA). executive committee. The DSBA may select anyone over age 18 who has served or is currently serving on an elected school board in Delaware.

      1. John Young

        also, the DOE and TLEU (a 2010 RTTT creation) shouldn’t be involved directly in PSB from a management standpoint.

  3. Joanne Christian

    Prop Joe–You are absolutely correct about my position, and eligibility. Back in 2012, when I stepped down from the school board–hence ineligible–a dispensation was given for me to remain, “at the pleasure of the Governor”, the agreement by DSBA that they felt adequately represented by school boards, as I was neck high in the interview process for a new Executive Director (that very few PSB members wanted nor had the time to commit w/ the proceedings). Not wanting to negate all the interview work, and other work in progress, the appointment stood until the cycle of vetting and appointment could be made. So I am eligible per pen. Ducks are in a row, t’s crossed etc..It is now 2014–and again, PSB finds itself in the interview and hiring process of a new Executive Director……with few on the board who can commit the time necessary. Again, eleventh hour, and I willingly agreed to go again. So MY standing may be tenuous, and certainly not on firm ground, but the service has been faithful, engaged, committed, and pro-active. No less the expectation of any current sitting board member who would take up the mantle. The question is why would the PSB disengage a major stakeholder in education, who has to underwrite or oversee whatever qualifications and expectations a district needs for compliance?
    DOE is a separate entity from the PSB. They manage the paperwork, and supply the limited admin. assistance, and legal counsel–but it’s a stand alone commission meant to credential, decredential, and establish unbiased standards for licensing educators in the state–and then recommend to DOE. Unfortunately, some have forgotten that…..and seem to be working it a bit backwards….you know, legislate first…..then have PSB try to make it all flow seamlessly……..without any thought given to the overlays in education from pre-school to higher-ed—and the various national and regional entities they ALREADY have to answer to. But hey, I don’t hold the wand–but it sure is getting to be a raw, cumbersome deal for any educator looking to find employment here……and the paper chase they will find waiting for them!

    Hope that answers some of your concerns Prop Joe. I promise–my paperwork, and appointment are in order.

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