Kilroy got to this first (he always does), but apparently, the Office of Civil Rights wants to look at all Delaware charter school applications for school years 2012-13 and 2013-14. For all the naysayers out there, many Delaware charters cherry-pick applicants so they look better with state test scores, less low income, less minority, and less special ed kids. I heard a while ago the OCR was going to be taking a hard look at the Delaware charters, and this confirms it.
What shocks me though is this news actually came from a charter school’s Board meeting minutes. I’m going to have to look at all minutes for the charters going forward before Kilroy beats me to the punch!
Here is what was in the Newark Charter School’s Board minutes:
The Delaware Dept. of Education received a request from the Office of Civil Rights requesting demographic data from both choice and charter schools. All Delaware charter schools have been asked to provide data on lottery applicants from 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. The Delaware Charter Schools Network is drafting a collective response from the charter schools as this data was not requested on the application in those years.
I will certainly be watching this story with bated breath!
UPDATED: July 25th, 1:42 PM
I just received an email from Alison May with the Delaware DOE, and apparently this is stemming from an individual complaint from someone regarding the Colonial School District. The issue with Colonial was resolved, but another complaint was issued about charter school enrollment preference. The letter was dated in May 2013, and stamped by the Delaware DOE in May 2014. Not sure why it took over a year for them to address this matter, but here it is:
Pages 4 & 5 tell the story about Complaint #2. I can only imagine what a school like Charter School of Wilmington would look like to the OCR with their very low African-American enrollment.
UPDATED: July 25th, 5:55pm
I contacted the Delaware Charter Schools Network for comment at 12 noon today. I haven’t heard back from them at all today. I also sent a tweet to their publicist, Catherine Nessa, and haven’t heard from her either. More news to come on this I’m sure.