What BASIS?: Nepotism and aggrandizement in charters?

You will need to read this to understand my next article. Citizens of Delaware, you must read this!!!

Cloaking Inequity

 

Wikipedia describes the BASIS charter schools:

BASIS Schools, Inc. is an Arizona charter school operator. It operates eight schools in Arizona and one in the District of Columbia….BASIS recently announced plans to add three more schools for the 2013-2014 year: one in Ahwatukee, one in San Antonio, Texas, and a new K-4 program near their original location in Tucson.

The Washington Post recently reported:

The D.C. Public Charter School Board on Monday rejected a request from BASIS DC to expand, citing concerns about the high number of students who have withdrawn from the charter school since fall.

BASIS, an Arizona-based chain of charter schools known for its rigorous academic demands, won approval to open doors in the District in 2012 despite questions about whether its model would work for struggling D.C. students.

BASIS wants to grow. Wealthy individuals put up $1,000,000 to attract the BASIS charter managment organization…

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Mark Murphy Sinks To New Lows At Priority Task Force, His Arrogance Is No “Myth”

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The Priority Schools Task Force had a meeting today. One would think it would be at one of the priority schools, but no, to rub salt in the festering wound, it was held at the Community Education Building in Wilmington. This is the building that is in a one-mile radius of the six priority schools. The building that has lots of room for charter schools. The only six priority schools in the state. Coincidence? Hardly. But I’m not going to discuss that today. My views on this are well known. No, I am going to talk about the Secretary of Education for Delaware, Mark Murphy. It’s a wonder anyone could fit in the room for the meeting with his big ego swallowing everything up.

According to Mike Matthews, who attended the meeting, the following exchange occurred between Murphy and Matthews:

At the meeting today I asked Sec. Murphy what specifically was wrong with the priority schools considering the evaluation done by his department, the University of Delaware, and the Delaware Association of School Leadership revealed that Stubbs and Bancroft are doing great things. The secretary could not answer my question, instead accusing me of engaging in a “tit-for-tat” by asking such a question. Sec. Murphy did reveal that his office is refusing to sign off on those reports. And then I blurted out “Yeah because you don’t like what those reports revealed!” He was not pleased.

What a jerk! I always knew Murphy was an oddball, but this is pure arrogance on his part. To have a review done of some of these schools, and have them come back with really great things, only to dismiss it like a Massett would dismiss an ACLU complaint, is the very definition of ________ (pick your own word, many have come to my mind since I read this). For those who had any doubt prior to this, the DOE, Murphy, and Markell have made up their mind. They made it up before September 4th. These schools will be charter schools in the very building where the task force meeting was. And Gateway has already been decided on as well. This is my theory of course, not based on actual fact, but a preponderance of evidence and actions.

In other odd news from the meeting, apparently Red Clay’s proposal to the Delaware DOE for the three priority schools in their district would have assistance from the University of Virginia for leadership assistance. No mention was made if there is any cost involved for this endeavor. Some feel this is exactly what these schools do not need, more outside consultants.

Delaware Charter School Network’s Kendall Massett says ACLU Complaints are “Myths”

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Kendall Massett, the director of the Delaware Charter Schools Network, has a lot to say about the ACLU complaint. A lot more than the DOE. In an article on WDDE, she gave a lot of comments to them about these charter school issues.

Delaware Charter Schools Network executive director Kendall Massett says many of the issues raised in the complaint have been heard before. “These complaints are not new to any state that has a charter school law. These allegations, myths – we actually call them myths – are actually talked about all over the United States,” said Massett.

Are the minority, low-income and special education statistics on the Delaware DOE School Profiles website myths Kendall? http://profiles.doe.k12.de.us/SchoolProfiles/State/Default.aspx Yes, this is talked about all over the United States. Want to know why? Because organizations like yours and the Delaware DOE allow it to happen and ignore it by calling them myths.

Massett adds charters in the First State face plenty of scrutiny and oversight under the state’s law…

But it takes a complaint by the ACLU to the OCR for these types of issues to be addressed…

…and there are examples of charters that serve large minority, low income and special needs student populations and are succeeding – including EastSide Charter in Wilmington and Positive Outcomes in Camden. Massett says Delaware has a number of charter schools, including Wilmington’s EastSide Charter School and Kuumba Academy Charter Schools, and ASPIRA Academy Charter School in Newark that enroll a majority of African American and Hispanic students, and low-income students, and these schools are doing well or have seen improving test scores.

Aren’t you kind of throwing a grenade on defending these schools against this complaint with these comments Kendall? If this does go to trial, I’m sure the ACLU attorneys would love to get you on the stand!

She also pointed to Positive Outcomes Charter School in Camden which serves at-risk children with physical, mental, and emotional challenges and is meeting state standards, based on their Academic Framework.

You still can’t say the words special education, can you Kendall? I know I was banned from your Twitter account for saying this exact same thing last summer. Too bad you can’t ban me on my own blog! How is that other special needs charter school in Delaware doing? The one you didn’t mention in the article? The one your organization has stabbed in the back by not standing up for them against the DOE? It’s called Gateway Lab School.

Massett says its simply untrue parental involvement issues or fees and costs are a barrier to a student attending a charter. “Our schools are not allowed by law to prohibit any child [from attending] based on an inability to fundraise or pay for a uniform – just like any public school,” said Massett.

Just because a school is not allowed by law to do something means they are following the law. Otherwise you wouldn’t be commenting on allegations that these schools are breaking the law. Interesting how you never brought up the actual applications these charter schools have.

– See more at: http://www.wdde.org/70472-aclu-delaware-files-federal-complaint-state-charter-schools#sthash.QREgRuky.dpuf