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Race to the Top: Delaware's Application for Initial Funding

Taking Apart Appendix A

Posted: 2010-04-07

Update on riddle from my childhood:

Question: And what did Delaware?

21st Century Standardisto Answer: She wore Emperor ObamaDungates New Clothes, which meant she was naked to the world. . . but few were able to see it.

You think this isn't funny?

What did you expect from someone suffering under the rule of a President who hasn't stopped clinging to the apron strings of the Center for American Progress since people there wrote his first policy paper on education in 2005? Follow the links here.

I dare you.


This opening bit is from Transparent Christina: A Member of the Christina [DE] School Board

#Race To The Top Delaware, where does your money go? First in a seriesâ€Â¦Ă˘€Â¦ #transparency

January 21, 2010 — John Young



Data Coaches


With the implementation of a new testing system, Delaware's teachers will have a wealth of data and information available to them. This data is only useful, however, if teachers can translate the information into classroom solutions and use it to inform their teaching. To make sure that each teacher has those skills, Delaware will deploy data coaches to all LEAs. The State will provide 4.5 hours of data coaching per month to each professional learning community (of 6-7 teachers) for two years. The coaches will be contractual in nature and work on a full time basis. 15 data coaches will be provided to the first waive of schools beginning in January 2011.

At the peak of the program, 35 data coaches will cover all schools in 2011-12. In sum, each school will have access to a data coach for two years with State support. These data coaches will be fully funded for non high-need schools at a rate of $104,000 per data coach annually ($54 hourly rate). Because of the importance of this initiative, high-need schools will be required to contribute 50% of the cost for data coaches. This will help ensure that these schools have a high level of engagement and investment in the successful use of the data coaches and the influx of funds that high-need schools will receive through the Title I allocation formula will ensure that they have sufficient resources to contribute to this initiative.



Let's do some math: Coach at $104,000 per year / $54 per hour = 1925.93 hours / 180 school days = 10.6996 hours per day for every single school dayâ€Â¦..how many PLCs are there and do they meet across a 10.6996 hour day, every day for 180 days? What am I missing?



by Susan Ohanian



Bush/Paige/Spellings brought us the literacy coach scam--people roaming the hallways to make sure all teachers were on script. Now Obama/Duncan/Bill Gates/Teachers Unions and other Business Roundtable sycophants will make sure all lessons are test prep all the time.

Race to the Top: Application for Initial Funding, Delaware, CFDA Number: 84.395A

For all LEAs/charters, the State will...

Create the technological base for

instructional improvement systems1 (e.g.,

reports based on formative assessments)

and integrate into the Educational Dashboard

Portal--Appendix A-7



Don't you just love the way Race to the Top (RTTT) has taken us back to the era of Behavioral Objectives: The State will. This is repeated throughout the document: The State will. . . The State will. . . The State will. . ., making this look like a Soviet document--and showing those homeschoolers who are on the far right that they were right all along.



This Appendix travels under the vision statement of VISION: Build the capacity to use data to inform instruction by implementing instructional improvement systems and providing support from data coaches.



Yes, Virginia, most Appendix A items travel under a Vision Statement.



And surely data coaches will soon be recognized as the The Sturmabteilung of our current Nazi era, paramilitary troops enforcing the administration's edicts.



Question: What color will their shirts be?



Question: How many professional organizations are at this moment scurrying around and keying up to qualify select members as data coaches, the way they did for literacy coaches?



NOTE: I took this piece of the Appendix out of order, hoping that those who can't make it through this whole Commentary will read at least that one.



You've been warned.



And for those with the strength to continue, I'm only hitting a few highlights--from Appendix A. The total Appendix goes from A through F and totals 279 pages.





Appendix A-5: Standards and assessments



VISION: Implement rigorous college and career-ready standards and link with high-quality formative and summative assessments



For all LEAs/charters, the State will. . .


Review and adopt CCSSO standards by August 2010, as appropriate, and align grade-level expectations to guide curriculum [emphasis added]



The CCSSO standards were brought to us by Achieve and the testmakers. You know Achieve, co-founded by IBM CEO Lou Gerstner, now retired but still orating on the need for a national test: "Establish a National Skills Day on which every third sixth-, ninth-, and twelfth-grader would be tested against the national standards."—Wall Street Journal, Dec. 1, 2008



Gerstner also founded The Teaching Commission in 2003, and Business Week ran this banner story in April 2005



By Aaron Bernstein



Lou Gerstner's Classroom Quest

The ex-IBM chief has a bold plan to boost teacher pay, but he may need to refine the "for performance" part before key parties buy in



Former IBM (IBM ) CEO Louis V. Gerstner Jr. is trying to jump-start his two-year-old campaign to improve America's lagging schools by sharply boosting the quality of teachers. But two new polls he released Apr. 6, one of teachers and another of the general public, suggest he'll have a difficult time convincing both groups to fully embrace all the reforms he's pushing.



Gerstner conducted the surveys with help from the Teaching Commission, a group of business leaders and educators he formed in 2003 to further his long-standing interest in education reform. After studying the issue, the commission has come up with several steps that it believes states and cities should take to transform teaching.



DIFFERENT PRIORITIES. The main idea is to pay teachers more, but link at least part of their salaries to how well they do their jobs, and give principals the right to hire and fire, so they can bring in high-quality teachers and weed out bad ones. . . .



I don't have a copy of the thank you letter Gerstner must have written to Obama/Duncan for bringing home all his wet dreams.



Appendix A-5 continued

All participating LEAs/charters will. . .




  • Participate in review of new standards and preparation of

    grade-level expectations (All LEAs/charters)*


  • Ensure curriculum aligns with standards, is implemented

    with fidelity, is having expected impact on student

    achievement, and is modified if ineffective (All LEAs/charters)*


  • Ensure teachers and leaders participate in State’s standards-related professional development (All LEAs/charters)*


  • Ensure all students participate in statewide formative and

    summative assessments and assessments of college

    readiness (All LEAs/charters)*


  • Build a culture of college- and career- readiness in

    schools by removing obstacles to, and actively supporting,

    student engagement and achievement, by



  • Providing rigorous advanced coursework (e.g., AP

    courses, STEM courses that incorporate project-,

    inquiry-, or design-based contextual learning

    opportunities, flexible grouping)


  • Targeting high-need or low-achieving students for

    enrollment in advanced coursework


  • Proactively supporting these students in advanced

    coursework (e.g., AP Summer Institute, extended

    learning time)






  • Sometimes comment is impossible. . . too many tears in the way. This is my profession they are systematically destroying. These are children we must all care about: They are our future.



    Democracy is dead.



    Appendix-6: Accessing and using State data



    VISION: Improve access to, and use of, the State's robust longitudinal data system by creating a data portal with dashboards targeted to stakeholder groups

    For all LEAs/charters, the State will. . .




  • Build an Educational Dashboard Portal that

    Makes State longitudinal data easily accessible to stakeholders


  • Provides differentiated "dashboards" based on stakeholder role, with data of interest to the stakeholder (as determined by research), full longitudinal and trend information, and correlations between key statistics


  • Allows for custom data reports with an easy-to-use, customizable reporting tool that enables users to select, compare, and filter statistics/indicators


  • Is consistent with FERPA




  • Just who are the stakeholders? Who gets to look at student and teacher records?



    Determined by research?



    Right.



    Like Reading First.



    This appendix also mentions "develop Enterprise Data Management," which sounds like a car rental agency and will probably operate pretty much the same way.



    Appendix A-7: Using data to inform instruction



    VISION: Build the capacity to use data to inform instruction by implementing instructional improvement systems and providing support from data coaches

    The state will. . .




  • Create the technological base for

    instructional improvement systems1 (e.g.,

    reports based on formative assessments)

    and integrate into the Educational Dashboard

    Portal


  • Define criteria and quality standards for

    instructional improvement systems


  • Pre-approve methods and/or providers of

    instructional improvement systems meeting these expectations




  • For participating LEAs/charters, the State will...

  • Recruit, train, deploy, and subsidize data

    coaches to participate in instructional

    improvement systems




  • Data coaches will facilitate collaborative

    planning time to help teachers and

    leaders develop the technical skills to

    analyze data and the pedagogical skills

    to adjust instruction based on data


  • Data coaches will also provide teachers

    with feedback on instructional

    approaches following observation




  • Participating LEAs/charters will...

  • Ensure implementation of instructional

    improvement systems


  • Provide 90 minutes of weekly

    collaborative time for teachers2 and

    leaders to participate in instructional

    improvement systems in small, relevant

    groups (e.g., 6 3rd and 4th grade

    teachers




  • Is it futile to hope the children are at recess while the teachers are involved in this 90-minute-a-week indoctrination?



    I can speak with personal experience of what happens when a state decides to "Define criteria and quality standards for instructional improvement systems" including "Pre-approve methods and/or providers of instructional improvement systems meeting these expectations." I am, after all, banned by the state of California from providing in-service instruction. I have a T-shirt testifying to this official designation. I wear it with pride.



    Some years back, the California State Board of Education put out a call, similar to this pronouncement from Delaware, for literacy expertise. More than twenty experts from around the country who professed tenets in keeping with a holistic approach all received the same rejection letter to their applications. [I followed every rule of the 27-page application, submitting copies of overheads of every point I would make about Using Riddle Books to Increase Vocabulary. I included extensive bibliography--GREAT riddle books as well as theoretical books on the importance of humor.



    Rumor had it that Marion Joseph vetted applications for "wrong names" in the bibiographies. Some time later I heard that Joseph, a former member of the California State Board of Education, was working on the California implementation of the Federal Reading First legislation.



    Rejection by California isn't trivial. It means that no district may hire us to offer our expertise. Only "approved" experts are acceptable. And of course this is what Delaware promises to do: weed out the subversives, people who insist on standing up for the needs of children.



    Appendix 8: Improving teacher and principal effectiveness based on performance



    VISION: Improve teacher and principal effectiveness with annual evaluations across multiple dimensions, and require student growth for effective ratings; use

    evaluations to inform teacher and principal development, rewards, and consequences



    And consequences.



    Shooting squad or hanging?



    Appendix A-8 continued



    For all LEAs/charters,

    the State will...




  • Revise DPASII to meet

    regulations requiring

    student growth for effective

    and highly effective ratings

  • Define rigorous and

    comparable measures of

    student growth in

    consultation with

    stakeholder groups




  • Don't you love "requiring student growth?" It's as though God sits in the Delaware statehouse. And on the Eighth Day She requires student growth.



    Appendix 8 continued

    The State will. . .


  • Define rigorous and

    comparable measures of

    student growth in

    consultation with

    stakeholder groups




  • Ah, be still my beating heart. . . Our elected officials and their hirees are sending millions of our dollars to Delaware to define "rigorous." And you know they don't dare consult the dictionary. [Think about this as you send in your form to the IRS. . . it is your money that is doing this.



    And there's more!



    Appendix A-8 continued

    The State will. . .




  • Provide high-quality training

    to assessors on conducting

    evaluations and providing

    specific and actionable

    feedback using the State's 4-

    level rubric


  • Require documentation of

    evaluations and conduct

    audits


  • Define the teacher leader

    role and responsibilities

    (which will include daily

    teaching time) and create an

    evaluation supplement for

    DPAS II for teacher leaders


  • Propose legislation requiring

    teachers to show appropriate

    levels of student growth prior

    to offering continuing licenses

    and tenure protections




  • For Participating LEAs/

    charters,

    the State will...




  • Recruit, train, deploy, and

    subsidize development

    coaches to support the

    transition to a more rigorous,

    transparent evaluation

    process, reduce the

    administrative burden, and

    improve calibration


  • Subsidize ongoing, oneon-

    one [sic] training to

    assessors in using the

    State’s 4-level rubric and

    providing specific and

    actionable feedback


  • Subsidize ongoing, oneon-

    one training to

    assessors in creating

    development plans in

    response to evaluation


  • Assist assessors with

    calibrating their evaluations




  • Note: This plan applies to all Delaware schools. The plan is much more detailed for participating LEAs/Charters.



    Appendix 9: Ensuring equitable distribution of effective teachers and principals



    VISION: Ensure equitable distribution by developing programs that place teachers and principals in high-need schools, prepare teachers for high-need subjects, and provide financial incentives to retain effective teachers and principals



    For all LEAs/charters, the State will...




  • Create a marketing plan




  • For Participating LEAs/Charters, it's



  • financial incentives


  • financial incentives


  • financial incentives




  • Appendix 10: Improving the effectiveness of teacher and principal preparation programs



    Vision: Improve preparation/certification programs by assessing the effectiveness of their participants, expanding successful programs, and improving or removing less successful programs

    For all LEAs/charters, the State will...




  • Link teacher/principal effectiveness to activities preparation and certification programs


  • Measure programs based on the effectiveness

    the teachers/principals they prepare/certify,

    including the impact of those teachers/principals

    on student growth


  • Publicly report the aggregate data for each

    preparation/certification program


  • Expand successful programs and routes, improve

    or remove less successful programs and routes


  • Provide feedback on improvement areas, and

    possible changes to entry and exit requirements,

    and curriculum


  • Rigorously conduct re-certification process


  • Support the expansion of successful programs




  • For participating LEAs/charters,

    the State will...




  • Link teacher/principal effectiveness to activities preparation and certification programs


  • Measure programs based on the effectiveness

    the teachers/principals they prepare/certify,

    including the impact of those teachers/principals

    on student growth


  • Publicly report the aggregate data for each

    preparation/certification program




  • Participating LEAs/Charters will. . .



  • Target recruiting and hiring to the most

    effective preparation programs, as

    demonstrated by the effectiveness of the

    teachers/principals they prepare/certify



  • Even though I am so angry about the studied silence of colleges of education regarding the assault on children and teachers since 2002 that I no longer care what happens to them, I do wonder if they are circling their wagons yet. Or do they still feel above all the rumpus of public school classrooms that they can't see the writing on the white board?



    I anticipate the newspaper reports showing the rankings of colleges of ed start to appear? Maybe Newsweek is already planning a cover story linking colleges of ed in rank of effectiveness, with a sidebar on the worst.



    Appendix A-11: Providing effective support to teachers and leaders



    VISION: Improve the coherence, quality, and impact of support for teachers and leaders through more rigorous certification and prioritization of instructional leadership



    The state will. . .


  • Establish standards for

    professional development and

    enforce via a certification and

    monitoring process


  • Ensure approved offerings are

    high-quality and high-impact by

    reviewing evidence of impact on

    student achievement, including

    measuring outcomes for

    participants and students


  • Eliminate ineffective professional

    development


  • Map approved professional

    development offerings to skills in

    the State educator evaluation


  • Identify or develop coherent model

    approaches to professional

    development that link offerings to

    specific skill and role expectations,

    and to the State educator evaluation
  • [emphasis in original]



    Participating LEAs/Charters will. . .



  • Adopt a State-identified model or another coherent approach to professional development (as approved by the State)


  • Yadda Yadda Yadda






  • Eliminate ineffective professional development.



    By firing squad or hanging?





    Appendix A-12: Turning around lowest-achieving schools



    VISION: Identify schools to turn around through the State Partnership Zone, give the State authority to intervene in reform plan following collective bargaining, and provide support with a strong turnaround office.



    For all LEAs/charters, the State will...




  • Identify schools to turn around through the State Partnership Zone


  • Identify "persistently lowest-achieving schools" using performance and trend in performance for all students


  • Use a rigorous qualitative assessment to sequence schools for turnaround




  • There's more. It's brutal. They will establish a Turnaround Office--with the power to do what it wants.



    They declare that schools in the Partnership Zone (All LEAs/charters) will be able to share their successes for building capacity.



    Indeed.



    Appendix (A)(2) – 1 Selected Biographies, Race to the Top Implementation Team





  • The governor, a Democrat, businessman, MBA University of Chicago.

    Role: Provide executive leadership;


  • State Secretary of Education, former superintendent, former middle & high school teacher.

    Role: Lead the reform strategy and implementation;


  • State School Board President, PTA president,PhD in analytical chemistry, research manager for DuPont Crop Protection.

    Role: Provide oversight and strategic leadership;


  • Deputy Secretary and Chief of Staff, Juris Doctorate from the Widener University School of Law.

    Role: Support Secretary of Education in leading the reform;


  • Advisor to Governor, associate with Drinker, Biddle & Reath, LLP, Deputy Legal Counsel to former governor.

    Role: Ensure that Delaware’s reform plan has the regulatory, stakeholder, and management support to be implemented effectively;


  • Associate Secretary/ CFO, Financial Reform and Resource Management within the Delaware Department of Education.

    Role: Provide budgetary and financial oversight;


  • Director of Curriculum Development for the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE). Previously--roles of teacher, school psychologist, preschool program coordinator, school principal, district assessment coordinator, accountability director, and external consultant. MA in school psychology; doctorate Education Administration.

    Role: Lead the Curriculum Development implementation team, which will implement the new standards and assessments;


  • Education Associate, Regulation Review and Legislative Liaison and for the Delaware Education Support System. Her primary responsibilities include acting as the liaison between the Department and the State’s legislature, reviewing and updating the Department’s regulations, and coordinating activities for the Delaware Education Support

    System. MA Public Administration; Doctor of Education Leadership.

    Role: Help coordinate reform activities and integrate ongoing policy and regulatory activities with the reform plan;


  • Director of Information Technology for the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE).

    Role: Lead the Information Technology implementation team, responsible for improving the

    State’s data systems, and providing data analytics;


  • Administor of the Children’s Services Cost Recovery project.

    Role: Oversee budget management and grant disbursement;


  • Director of Public/Private Partnerships at the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) where he enables the business community, the private sector, foundations and the educational community to enthusiastically support education reform in Delaware. Most recently, his DDOE efforts were focused on bringing Teach for America to the State of Delaware. He is the former CEO and owner of companies in the textile industry and records

    management field.

    Role: Manage public-private partnerships in support of the reform.




  • I'll leave you with one more Appendix, which runs from A-50 to A-78.



    Appendix (A)(2) – 8 [sic] Letters of Support



  • President, Delaware State Education Association (DSEA)


  • Executive Director Delaware Association of School Administrators (DASA)


  • Delaware PTA


  • Chairman, Delaware Early Childhood Council


  • President and Executive Director, Delaware Charter Schools Network


  • Chairman, Delaware Business Roundtable


  • Delaware State Chamber of Commerce


  • President and CEO Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League


  • Executive Director, Latin American Community Center


  • Governing Council Chair and Executive Director, Education Voters of Delawere


  • Executive Director, Learning Llink of Delawere


  • Rodel Foundation of Delaware


  • President, Longwood Foundation Inc.


  • Chairperson, Governor's Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens


  • Secretary, Delaware Department of Labor


  • Secretary, Delaware Health and Social Services


  • Secretary, The Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families


  • U. S. Senator Edward E. Kaufman (Judiciary Committee, Foreign Relations Committee)


  • U. S. Senator Thomas R. Carper


  • Lt. Governor Matthew Denn






  • Either the compilers of this document can't count or. . . . Well, I don't know what the alternatives are. They say there are 8 letters. You can see as well as I can that the number submitted exceeds that.



    Although I'm not going into the sycophantic contents of the various letters, I must mention Senator Carper's. He begins his letter thanking Secretary Duncan and members of his cabinet for attending the celebration of life for Vice-President Biden's mother and closes it with "And speaking of leadership, thank you for the bottom of my heart for the remarkable leadership you and the President are providing are nation in this incredibly important arena. And then, if that weren't enough, he scrawled a handwitten note at the bottom of his letter: Arne, keep up the great work you are doing. You are one of our heroes in the Obama administration. Carper serves as Deputy Whip, and is also on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Environment and Public Works Committee, and the Finance Committee.



    Every teacher who pays dues to the Delaware State Education should read their letter, Appendix A-51, and immediately start legal action to withold any future payments. Dues-paying members of the Delaware Association of School Administrators should go forth and do likewise. Their letter is Appendix A-52.



    I hope parents withdraw immediately from the Delaware Parent Teachers Association. Their letter is Appendix A-53.



    Of Note: Education Voters of Delaware, one of the letter writers, bills itself thusly:

    an independent voice for change, representing—first and foremost--the interests and needs of Delaware’s students. It's all about the kids.



    They offer an "action toolkit provides information on how to spread the word by hosting a gathering, organize a letter-writing campaign or engage your friends and acquaintances by phone or email." This is right out of the Business Roundtable, and look who funds Education Voters of Delaware:



    the Rodel Foundation of Delaware, the Delaware Business Roundtable and its Education Committee, and the Delaware Community Foundation.



    Contributors to the Delaware Business Roundtable Education Committee include: AAA Mid-Atlantic, AstraZeneca, Bank of America, Barclays, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, Buccini/Pollin Group, CAI, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, Christiana Care Health Services, Citizens Bank, Colonial Parking, Inc., Delmarva Power, Dover Downs, Inc., DuPont, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, McConnell Development, Inc., PNC Foundation, Verizon Delaware, WSFS Foundation.





    Of Note: The Learning Link of Delaware is an expansion and outgrowth of the Delaware Parent Leadership Institute (DPLI). DPLI was developed by the Rodel Foundation of Delaware to train parents to better understand school achievement data so they could assist educators in making educational improvements.



    Of Note: The Rodel Foundation is funded by Rodel, Inc., which manufactures textiles and chemistries used in the production of semiconductors and other precision surfaces worldwide and is now a subsidiary of Rohm and Haas Company's Electronic Materials Business Group. The foundation operates mostly in Arizona and Delaware, and I dare you to read this piece in praise of DIBELS by Carol Peck, president and chief executive officer of the Rodel Charitable Foundation of Arizona



    The advisory council of the Rodel Foundation of Delaware is co-chaired by The Honorable Pierre S. du Pont, who writes op eds for the Wall Street Journal that are beyond lunatic fringe. They are way off the cliff. I used to send them to Jerry Bracey, just to get him going.



    Of Note: There's a certain oddness about the Longwood Foundation, Inc., so odd, in fact, I don't want to repeat things I can't verify. So in lieu of any information about the Longwood Foundation, Inc, I offer a wedding announcement of There du Pont, who signed the Longwood Foundation, Inc., letter as president. The announcement is from the 1999 New York Times, the paper of all the news that's fit to print.



    Darla Pomeroy, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael L. Pomeroy of Burlington, Wash., was married yesterday to There du Pont, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont 4th of Rockland, Del. Judge Eugene Anderson of the Superior Court of the State of Washington officiated at a private home in Anacortes, Wash.



    Ms. Pomeroy, who is 34 and is keeping her name, is the vice president for business development of Nextlink Communications, a telecommunications company in Bellevue, Wash. She graduated from the University of Washington and received a law degree from Duke University and an M.B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Her father is the construction coordinator at Draper Valley Farms, a poultry processing plant in Mount Vernon, Wash. Her mother, Darlene Pomeroy, retired as a remedial reading teacher at the West View Elementary School in Burlington.



    Mr. du Pont, 33, is the vice president for quality assurance and distribution for Wawa Inc., the convenience store chain based in Wawa, Pa. He graduated from Stanford University, from which he also received an M.B.A. degree. His father, who was the Governor of Delaware from 1977 to 1985, is the editor of Intellectual Capital.com, an on-line public policy magazine. The bridegroom's mother, Elise du Pont, is a member of the board of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The bridegroom is a descendant of Eleuthere Irenee du Pont, the founder of what became E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company.





    And on and on and on. After all the Appendices A, we move on to Appendices B through F, 279 pages in all. And remember: This is just the Appendix to the main document. I admit I have not read the main document. As someone who feels you learn a lot about a book by looking at the footnotes, I started with the Appendix of this document. And it has worn me out. I am in shreds. Maybe one day I'll find the strength to look at the document.



    But not right now.





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