Monthly Archives: October 2015

DE Parents, Have You Considered Having Your Child Take the ACT Test, I Have and This is Why

All Delaware public school students in 11th grade take the SAT, it is given during a school day and there is no cost to the families. Since the SAT is given in school, you might want to consider having your child take the ACT test as well.  Here is a link to the ACT Test schedule, you can schedule online, it is a very simple process.

The SAT and ACT tests are very different, so your child may perform better on one of the tests, to learn more about the differences article 1 and  article 2ACT tends to ask straightforward questions, has a Science section; most, if not all, US colleges accept the ACT scores and the students do not lose points for incorrect answers. Both of my children have taken both tests and both of my children have scored higher than the National and Delaware’s average composite scores. The ACT national average composite score is 21 and Delaware’s average composite score is 23.5.  The highest score you can receive on the ACT is 36 and the SAT is 1600. The states that have the highest ACT scores are the states on the east coast; their scores range from 22.9 and 24.4. (Go to the third column, click the arrow at the top of the column; this will place the states in order from good to best. Delaware and the other east coast states are all clustered at the bottom, ranking higher than the rest of the states.) Delaware’s ACT Test scores in English, Reading, Math and Science are way above the national benchmark scores.

Delaware Educator Preparation Program Reports Are Now Available

The Delaware Department of Education today released its first annual reports on the state’s teacher and specialist educator preparation programs, providing information ranging from the diversity of programs’ candidate classes to student performance outcomes of graduates to job placement and retention within the state.

Click here to read the report.

Keep the Conversation Going!

I want to first say thank you to the teachers, parents, community members who voice their opinions and share their thoughts on educational issues, that is really the only way we are going to improve things here in Delaware. I know you can be discouraged and wonder if your voice is being heard. I can tell you, yes you are being heard. Keep speaking up, keep having conversations, demand change! There are people who are listening and who also want things to change. We have a new Secretary of Education who is going to be appointed next week. I know he will listen and be more visible. Elections are coming up, have conversations with your Representatives and your Senators; now is the time to get their attention and have your concerns heard.

I get texts, emails and Facebook messages all the time from people, not just in my district but outside my district, just sharing their thoughts, concerns or may just have a question. People just want to know that someone cares. Please do not lose hope, things will change, we just got to keep the movement going.

Don’t forget, if you would like something published, just reach out to me, it can be posted anonymously. There is a tab on the top of the main page, Contact Rep. Kim Williams, click on it and send me a message.

Take a deep breath, it is Friday, have a great weekend!

A Teacher’s Perspective


The following is a response from a teacher under a post titled: A Parent’s Question, What Did Smarter Balanced Scores Tell Us?  

As a teacher with 15 years of experience in both regular and special education, as well as being a certified Reading Specialist, I can confidently answer this question with the following:

The Smarter Balanced Assessment scores WILL NOT help your child to improve over the next school year. What will help your child to improve? With an 11th grader, if the student is having trouble with a particular subject, I think that it is best if that student reaches out to the teacher for help first. Teachers love when the student is responsible for his/her learning and is autonomous in this endeavor. However, if that doesn’t work, then the parent would have to open up a line of communication.

If the student isn’t having any trouble, and the question is being asked about general improvement during the next school year, the ONE thing that will help a child with their progression is teacher-made assessment and feedback. Just like a doctor, the teacher is constantly giving check-ups in the classroom with quizzes and tests. Pay close attention to the grades and feedback that come back on those.


Reminder: October 23rd is the Next Delaware Expenditure Review Committee Meeting

The Governor signed Executive Order #52 on September 25, 2015 ordering a review of the state’s expenditures. The next Delaware Expenditure Review Committee Meeting will be held on October 23rd from 1:00 until 3:00 at the Blue Ball Barn – Hay Room in Wilmington, DE.  
To read more about the Executive Order, click here.

This Is What You Want to See at a School!

HB Middle School students surprised Principal Aaron Selekman, recognizing him during National Principal Month. He was a principal at Mote Elementary School, which is located in the 19th District, for many years. I would visit Mote a few times a year and I witnessed firsthand the compassion and dedication he had for his students, their families and the staff. The staff at Mote really loved working with him; he makes you a part of a team, you don’t work for him, you work with him. He is an outstanding principal.

Watch the video, H.B. du Pont Middle School surprises principal Aaron Selekman.

WEIC Update

I attended the Red Clay School Board meeting last night and WEIC updated the board. I don’t have much to report back, they are still working on the plan. Here is the presentation that was presented last night. The commission is suppose to be releasing the draft report sometime next month and the State Board will vote on it in January.

  • One recommendation that is being made by the WEIC Commission is to delay implementation until fall 2018.
  • State needs to commit to addressing poverty in our schools whether or not this plan goes through.
  • School resources must be made available.
  • Not enough time is available to construct this plan properly.
  • Board members are very concerned about the financial burden this may place on Red Clay and the residents.
  • They are also concerned about the state approving a plan and then not properly funding the plan. Example: state promised a certain amount of funds for the three priority schools and then that amount changed when it was time to implement the plan.
  • A comment was made by one member of the WEIC group basically saying to the state don’t move forward with any plan unless you are going to get the plan right.

Taking Advantage of Someone During One of the Most Difficult Times in One’s Life

What will insurance companies think of next to take advantage of our constituents especially during one of the most difficult times of their lives? I received this press release from Commissioner Stewart regarding “Widow’s Penalty” and I could not believe what I was reading. Delaware is not going to take part of this practice.  Below is the press release from the Commissioner’s Office.

Commissioner Stewart Outlaws “Widow’s Penalty” In Setting Auto Insurance Rates
Says Practice Is Not Supported By Facts

DOVER, DE (October 21, 2015) – Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart announced today that she will not approve any auto insurance company’s rate submission that includes a “widow’s penalty,” under which a widow or widower is charged a higher rate based solely on the change in his or her marital status following the loss of a spouse.

“This so-called ‘widow’s penalty’ is completely unfair,” said the Commissioner. “Becoming a single driver because of the death of your spouse is not the same as being a young, inexperienced single driver. I will not approve any auto insurance rate filings that cannot provide actuarially sound data for including widows and widowers in a higher single rate category.”

Automobile insurance companies are permitted to charge inexperienced drivers, such as teenagers, a high premium because some actuarial studies show that young single drivers file more claims than young married drivers. However, the Delaware Insurance Department is not aware of any such data showing that older single drivers exhibit the same behavior when compared to older married drivers.

The Insurance Department recognizes that marital status is not the only reason why auto insurance premiums can change following the loss of a spouse. For instance, many companies offer multi-policy discounts for having both life and auto policies with that company. If one of those policies ends, such as a life insurance policy after a spouse dies, that discount may be cancelled. Also, a married couple on a policy might have their driving records considered together when determining the premium. When one spouse dies, the premium will change to reflect the risk of the remaining driver. If that driver has a better driving record than his or her spouse, the premium may go down. However, the reverse is also true.

The new policy, contained in Auto Bulletin No. 23, is effective immediately and is directed to all insurers writing automobile insurance coverage in Delaware. Commissioner Stewart reminds consumers that the policy only applies to rate reviews going forward, so current policyholders should shop around and get quotes from other insurance companies if their auto premium has recently increased.

The full text of Auto Bulletin 23 may be found at