Frustration of RTTT

Well the second drafts of Delaware’s RTTT submissions have come back from DDOE with feedback. The major comment coming back to all LEAs was “be more outcome-focused, and describe the concrete results that you expect to achieve”. I don’t know but similar words may have been spoken a few years back when another “four letter” word was used in the same sentence as education, NCLB! That federal directed program came with unfunded mandates, and more hoops that lead to educators teaching to a test that means more to the educators then it does the students. Well here we are a few years later and the federal government thinks that if they wave a few dollars in the face of cash strapped states and schools they can fix the problems of education.
The frustration has started again as the hoops just get harder to jump through and are districts really seeing much in the way of funding for these mandates? I have sat in on the meetings discussing the SOWs (Statement of Work) that the Milford District has been working on and know the time, effort, and work that all the stakeholders have put in to make this work. My thoughts however when I read the comments sent back by the assistant Secretary of Education were, “are we as educators being set up to fail before we get started?” A question even came to mind this morning as I rode to work, the state was given ~$100 million with $50 million going to DDOE, and the rest to be divided up by districts based on their Title I numbers. What happens if we put all the effort into these 12 SOWs and the state comes back saying not good enough, does Milford’s part of the $50 million go to another district or does DDOE get to keep and spend as they want?
By the way, with our state budget strapped to balance why is DDOE advertising for like 6 new positions at DDOE when maybe the RTTT dollars could be spent elsewhere?

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About Gary M Wolfe

The Author spent 10 years as a member of the Milford Delaware Board Of Education, and is currently seeking the 18th Senatorial seat in the Delaware Legislature.
This entry was posted in Delaware Politics, Education. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Frustration of RTTT

  1. John Young says:

    Well said. The bloom is coming off the rose, fast.

  2. Paul Faulkner says:

    Right on the head! I saw the job postings and thought the same. I wouldn’t have a problem doing the tax match pertaining to transportation, provided the state would cut DDOE by 80%. I think we all felt we had a gun to our heads when this RTTT came down.

  3. your favorite teacher :) says:

    Gary – you can voice your frustration with DOE new positions (which I can understand as not much comes into the actual classroom) … however, please remember Milford paid 1 admin since October for a building that was not operational. Contrary to belief – the state DOES not fund that admin position when the building is not operational – it’s local funds and you can’t say it’s out of construction -because that is not how construction funds are used – at least supposed to… and now the board has approved an admin for new elementary (which just broke ground?) Perhaps these new admin aren’t truly admin but construction managers? Perhaps there is more to the story – but realize that local points at DOE and local has there own set of questions. 2 admin of non operational buildings is just as confusing – and gives room for state to say consolidation is needed. The politics is ROUGH – and I can handle working in it – I am just not too sure how I feel about my kids education as a result of it. I am not the type to pull favors for my kids education as others have done (not meaning you 🙂 I need to prepare my kid to survive in a world that isn’t about pulling strings… maybe that isn’t DE. 🙂 We can’t be accountable for DOE – but we can in our own community – and that is powerful!

    • Wolfe Gary says:

      http://regulations.delaware.gov/AdminCode/title14/400/401.shtml#TopOfPage

      11.0 Administration of the New School

      The principle administrator of a new school may be hired for up to one (1) year prior to student occupancy to organize and hire staff. The State portion of salary and benefits may be paid from Major Capital Improvement Programs

      Note: The state share goes against state funds and the local share goes against local funds (although in fact the state and local funding is rolled together into an account that actually represent 77% state and 23% local, as opposed to two separate accounts for one state and one local).

  4. ancora imparo says:

    I think members of community thought that was how the “consultant” was paid. Thanks for link – quite a few people asked – so I asked. You are gracious to welcome the inquiry. (As you have often) Ironic the flexibility is their for admin. Too bad there aren’t opportunities for direct classroom impact.

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