New York Superintendent Writes Best Letter Ever: “I Do Not Care…”

The Exceptional Infinite

If every single Superintendent in the country wrote letters like this, our country would have much better education.  Congratulations to Superintendent Michael Hynes from the Patchogue-Medford School District for writing this VERY awesome letter!


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Schwartzkopf & Blevins: Call For Emergency Session To Override Markell’s Veto Of HB50 BEFORE 10/17/15

The Exceptional Infinite

We are at crunch time Delaware!  In the US DOE approval letter for Delaware’s 2015 ESEA Flex Waiver request (seen below), it explicitly states Delaware must approve their School Success Framework by October 31st.  The Delaware State Board of Education is the approving authority, and they meet on October 17th.

I need EVERY willing and able citizen of Delaware to email Delaware Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf and President Pro Tempore of the Delaware Senate, Patricia Blevins, to call for an emergency session to override Governor Jack Markell’s veto of the parent opt-out legislation and give it enough time to make sure it is approved by 10/16/15 with the condition that it goes into effect immediately.  If the House overrides the veto, it would go back to the Senate, but they cannot do the same in the same legislative session day.  So the latest this could happen for the…

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Executive Salaries at K12, Inc.

Omg! Someone hold my head so I do not far over! To make that much money and do what… is insane!

Diane Ravitch's blog

While teachers across the nation have salaries lower than those of other professions and often need to take a second job to make ends meet, the executives at Michael Milken’s cyber charter chain K12, Inc. are faring very well indeed.

Their schools have high student turnover and low graduation rates, but it is a very profitable business.

The chairman of the board and CEO made $4.2 million last year.

The former CEO made $4 million.

The executive vice-president and chief financial officer made $824,000.

The president and chief operating officer made $5.5 million.

The executive Vice President, secretary, and chief counsel made $1.1 million.

The executive Vice President and manager of school services made $854,000.

Numbers are rounded.

Remember: It is all about the kids.

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Invest in Children, Not Testing. It’s That Simple.

Wonderfully written. Mentioning a good old boy Hattie and for those of you who know me and worked with me in the past. I still have night mares about “effect size.” 😂

Creative by Nature

“The best schools keep their eye on the prize—the kids—not just whether they are pleasing higher civil authorities. They see the job of adults as one of nurturing intelligence and empathy, openness to the world, while cherishing their children’s uniqueness. They stay close to families, and see teachers and parents as allies not adversaries.” ~Deborah Meier

kids drawing

Here is what the research tells us: We don’t need more money for state testing and national standards, what is needed is greater investment in successful teaching approaches, support services and innovative programs, so that high quality learning opportunities can be provided to all children.

Provide money for skilled teachers, support staff, dental and medical care, books, school trips, community building, lunch programs, arts programs, sports programs and whole school reform- not for Pearson, PARCC, private charter school investors and Common Core.

Decades of research has shown that solutions to education problems are not unknown or complicated, they just require a shift of priorities, and a willingness to…

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Proud to be a Senator!

Today was the district wide get together for the Capital School District.  All school districts that I know of have this event to start each school year, a motivational “We Rock!” before the first day with kids. Being new to the district, it was awesome for two reasons.  

1. Students were part of the event.  The drum line performed, the ROTC presented the colors, and the choir sang the National Anthem.  They were wonderful and it made sense.  We teach, why would students not be involved somehow.

2. The speakers spoke from their hearts.  They were genuine, real, and not rehearsed.  I felt comfortable, calm, ready to move forward.  And one sentence spoken repeatedly really sat well with me, “what is best for our kids?” It is an easy question reallt, but the Delaware Educational System makes it ssssssoooooooo hard.  My administrator said that the event was very “grassroots.”  And it was, and as it should be.  We the people… We are a family, a team, and it truly felt that way.  
There is always an opportunity for change in new beginnings.  The music was great, but I didn’t see any art….  An opportunity for ME!!!!

I am proud to be a Senator!!!

This Made Me Sick… It Should Make You Feel The Same

I really like this post. Blunt, to the point, and true. Kids need to play! They learn through play! Organized play, creative play, or imaginary play, whatever! Kids need to play!!!!

I was told by an administrator that activities including blocks, puzzles, coloring, free drawing, etc. not assessed were meaningless.

Is play meaningless too? Sadly, according to many it is!


The Common Core State Standards call for kindergärtners to learn how to read, but a new report by early childhood experts says that forcing some kids to read before they are ready could be harmful.

It says there is no evidence to support a widespread belief in the United States that children must read in prekindergarten or kindergarten to become strong readers and achieve academic success…..

Our Federal Educational policy is simply OUT OF CONTROL and is being run by twenty year old kids, put in educational places of authority for the very reason they lack enough of  life’s experience to challenge the biased notions of corporate business educational reform upon which they were hand-fed….

i learned to read first in 1st Grade.  I wasn’t ready in kindergarten.  It would have ruined me…  I turned out ok… How about you?  Did you turn out ok too?

So what is wrong with…

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Delaware Professional Appraisal System 101: Part 6 of 6

Component 5:  Student Achievement

Yeah, I do not have much to say about this component for a few reasons.  One, it hasn’t counted yet….  Yup, we give our students these tests and they do not count for the students or the teachers…..  There are so many issues that the scores do not count for the individuals, just the school…..

Now, a positive.  There is an art test for me to give to my students.  This is the highlight of this whole evaluation system.  When this component counts, I will be evaluated with art, not math and ela like many other states in the country. These art test are well written, developmentally appropriate and make sense to the teacher unlike the Smarter Balance tests.

There is a training in Dover on October 1st, 2015 to explain this component and any new changes in the system since it changes every year.

I hope all of these posts were helpful!

Delaware Professional Appraisal System 101: Part 5 of 6

Component 4: Professional Responsibilities

This component is my biggest problem with this evaluation system.  I am a state leader in the visual arts.  I was rated proficient for this component.  How is that possible when I have been a leader in the arts for the past 4 years, elected by my peers?  You know how, my administrator never saw it….  Yes, because I was never given an opportunity to share my knowledge at the building level, I offered many times, I am only proficient because my administrator could not observe my level of performance.  That really wasn’t my problem, but I am the one being evaluated….

4a: Communicating with Families

This element of component four is very difficult for elementary and middle school art teacher because of the volume of students they teach.  A completely different rubric should be created for us in this area.

4b: Recording data in a Student Record System

In my last job, I did this and it was up to date and ready to be viewed on any day, but I was still proficient.  In my new job, I do not  grade.  I am not a teacher of record…. interesting, so I guess this area will be NA.  I will have to wait and see….

4c: Growing and Developing Professionally

THIS ONE IS MY, OMG!, I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT I AM NOT DISTINGUISHED!!!  I have went to New Orleans and participated in a few presentations.  I have went to Maine and represented and presented for the state of Delaware, and I just returned from Arkansas, one of 25 other art educators that were selected as the first class of School Art Leaders sponsored by the National Art Education Association.  All of this I have paid for myself and I am still proficient.  If I do not “seek out” professional development like it is stated in the distinguished column I am not sure what I should do….

4d: Reflecting on Professional Practice

Yeah, I was told that I was very reflective, more that most, but still proficient….

Professional responsibilities: If your admin does not see it, then it seems to not happen…

Delaware Professional Appraisal System 101: Part 4 of 6

I am very sorry that I have not been a little faster about finishing up this series.  Most people think that teachers have a relaxing summer off…. Well that is not true for me.  I turn into a stay at home mom, and being with two children that never go away is, but relaxing.  I am going to try to to finish this up in the next two days, so here we go!

Component 3: Instruction

This is the best component in this whole evaluation system.  I really do not have much to tell about it, except for the concept of “grouping students.”  Again, like in the other components, art teachers really do not group students.  If teachers have detailed, well written lessons, post procedures, routines, and rules in the classroom, and make sure students can explain everything.  You are good!