DE Chief for Change “authors” an editorial and it’s full of ____________

I’ll let you fill in the blank after I take you on a short red pen journey:

Article here!: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2014/12/13/priority-school-program-can-boost-students/20331349/

When children at some of our schools are not learning, we have an obligation to act. Ok, but how do we define learning I wonder? Tests?

Three months ago, the State announced a commitment um, 6MM over 4 years to 6 schools? That’s a pittance, not a commitment. Shame on you and the governor for calling it one to improve educational opportunities for children in our state’s six lowest-performing schools this is a lie by their own measurements there are schools with lower test scores but these six happen to all be in the same “neighborhood”…I wonder why…. Our Priority Schools initiative has received heavy criticism as it deserves from those who fear maybe, but mostly fromthose that cannot stand to see you and the Governor grandstand for publicity and political points while offering another “PZ” but this time with even LESS money. We are not afraid of something we don’t know, you plan has already failed two of these schools, we know it will again, it’s that simple.  an overhaul of the status quo lame reformer lingo, the truth is Mr. Murphy IS the status quo. He is a test and punish proponent and that’s what the DEDOE does: test and punish. They punish students. They punish teachers. Now, tey are going to punish schools and communities. No doubt about it, our Chief for Change is a status quo guy.. And we have heard poverty used as an excuse for why students haven’t achieved. Again, a facile dismissal of the key correlative aspect of low achievement. Ostrich much?

But we remain committed to this effort because we know that students from even the most disadvantaged backgrounds – many of whom grow up in desperate poverty and violent neighborhoods – can overcome these circumstances and succeed if given the opportunity. And no one other than you does, right? This divisive rhetoric is irresponsible for a public official. Shame on you and the Governor for pushing comments like this into the public space

And we don’t have to look far to see what is possible for these children.

At Lewis Elementary in Wilmington, only 25 percent of students could read and do math at grade level in 2011. This year, that number increased to 60 percent. Gee, did anything else happen there?  During the same time, Eastside Charter increased the percentage of fifth graders proficient in reading from 15 percent to 66 percent Select, cream, skim: BAM success. You know this is a joke comparison, right? Oh wait, it’s all you got, my bad. And Booker T. Washington in Dover boosted the performance of its students – closing the gap between the number of low-income and non-low-income students who are proficient from 37 percent to eight percent in just three years. A tiny school by any measure, what happens in really small schools? Yeah, you know.

All of these schools serve a high proportion of low-income students of color – in some cases higher than at our Priority Schools. And not long ago, their students struggled as much or more than their counterparts at the Priority Schools today.

Each school’s turnaround strategy was different. Lewis became a world language immersion school. Booker T. Washington implemented an extended school day, which included recreational and community service activities. Eastside started a rigorous support system for staff with constant feedback and evaluation. This is the setup…

But the schools also had some things in common – most importantly, a dynamic school leader who received the authority and flexibility to implement creative programs and to rally their faculty and staff around a vision for helping their students learn. BAM! What’s next? You gonna kick our principals to the curb? That would be shortsighted and insane

The situation at our Priority Schools is unacceptable how would you know, you have never been there to assess it, nor has your addled staff. In some grades, less than 30 percent of children read and do math at grade level, and much less than half reach their individual academic growth goals each year.  Ahh, you got all test result oriented there. Is that how you manage? From a desk with a speadsheet. Again not becoming of a publicly paid official but not surprising given DE executive leadership.These students begin each fall well behind their peers, and drop further behind during the year. LIE. PATENT LIE. Many of them graduate high school unable to read or perform basic math, if they graduate at all. And the situation is not improving. LIE, PATENT LIE.

So we have asked the districts to work with us this is joke right? the Memorandum of Ultimatum you shoved in our face is “working” with us? You have a sick sense of humor I see. and help these schools develop new plans based on what we know works proof? evidence? Yeah, you got none, just reformy talking points about status quo, “great teachers” as if they are not there now, and catch phrases that divide and destroy communities like “achievement gap”  for these students.

It starts with a school leader who has a track record of working effectively you mean a “drill and kill” tester right? Of course you do.with youth in high-need schools, and who has the authority must.report.to.DOE. yeah, we get it, you are stealing the schools. to carry out a plan that fits their individual schools’ needs, free from unnecessary restrictions and mandates meaning parental input or teachers with independent thoughts. We must empower these leaders to make the changes that have worked elsewhere in Delaware and beyond are you going to bring in principals from New Jersey or something? – changes that some of our existing district rules prevent – like extending the school day and school year no, your funding prevent this, providing after-school tutoring for struggling students, again, $$ and/or offering social services in their buildings. um, yeah, where’s your $$ commitment on this??? And we must hold those leaders accountable for their schools’ results. Of course, thats the reformy way, test and destroy. What good are priority schools if you can’t lather, rinse and repeat every three years when you know it takes at least 5 to “fix” a school.

The State has made an initial investment of $6 million to support this process and help ensure the schools have the resources they need to change course. A joke is what that is. That’s equivalent to a ten percent increase in funding per student per year LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE: Let’s do his math (sorry in advance, I will be using non-common core mathematics below): Mr. Murphy has declared repeatedly we have 2000 students in these 6 schools. $6,000,000/$2000 = $3,000 per student. Now, divide that by 5 years: $3000/5 = $600. If $600 per student per year is 10% of what we spend means he is saying he thinks we spend $6000/yr. Yeah, you better get in one of your TOY CCSS classrooms and get some more math skills because we all know what a massive lie that just was and we remain dedicated to finding every way we can help these schools succeed.

We want – and expect – that just as Lewis and Booker T. Washington and Eastside have chosen different approaches to helping their students succeed, each of the Priority Schools will develop a plan tailored to its students’ needs. No, you don’t. Please stop this lie about collaboration. You want to spit on these communities. While the state released guidance that’s funny stuff right there to assist Districts in the planning process, we have also accepted alternative ideas proposed by District leaders that accomplish the same objectives. We only insist that their plans include the key elements that are essential to successfully support our most disadvantaged students. ONLY? but what definitions apply to your special word: essential? You must think we can’t read.

What has happened in the Priority Schools over the past decade has not worked. We need a sense of urgency about the fate of our children, recognizing that today, they do not have a fair chance to work their way out of poverty. urgent urgent urgent. You mean so urgent that your boss has lied about them and ignored them until he became a lame duck? Ok, now they’re urgent.

We should find inspiration in the success of schools in our state that have achieved results. And we should expect nothing less for all of our children.

The fill in the blank exercise in the title: CRAP.

Mark Murphy is Delaware’s Secretary of Education and a member of Jeb Bush’s divisive right wing, no-evidence lovin’ Chiefs for Change.

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5 thoughts on “DE Chief for Change “authors” an editorial and it’s full of ____________

  1. minnehanh

    You turned a rather blah read into something fun for a Saturday morning, John! This talk of “urgency” and ridding the world of the “status quo” got old a long time ago…..How dare they sit down there in Dover 50 miles (or so, using Common Core math to get that estimate) and pontificate about how things should be done for kids. Kids? You know, the short people occupying the seats in the schools that you want to grab Mr. M. The kids are what it’s all about, not you and your jargon. Nope.

  2. Prop Joe

    Crap? That’s the best you got?

    Murphy’s op-ed was an unadulterated piece of bullshit…

    “Crap” does not do it justice!

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