Live From Delaware State Board of Education Meeting: Charter School Decisions

State Board of Education in Delaware is now going over Charter School renewals.  Seven charters are up for renewal this year.  Jennifer Nagourney, director of DE Charter School Office giving introduction.  Talking about the purpose of Delaware Charter School Accountability Committee.

The order of renewals will be as follows: DE Academy of Public Safety & Security, Eastside Charter, Family Foundations Academy, Gateway Lab School, Las Americas Aspiras, Odyssey Charter School, and Reach Academy For Girls.

First up: Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security.  Recommendation of CSAC: approve with conditions, Murphy: renewal, State Board: Passed 7-0, but President Dr. Gray said yes with reservations.

Eastside Charter School.  Recommendation of CSAC: approve, Murphy: renew, along w/modification to give applicants withing a 5 mile radius of the school preference over those outside of the zone, State Board: renewed.

Family Foundations Academy (this should be good!).  Recommendation of CSAC: approve w/conditions: all board members must get board training, must resolve all compliance issues by end of February 2015, Murphy: Department has received 200 page report regarding gross financial misconduct, Board of FFA asking for 60 day waiver to determine renewal to review, State Board: Heffernan, very disappointed report coming in at the 11th hour, Blowman w/DOE stated 60 days brings them till January 5th, 60 days after CSAC recommendation, Heffernan: Choice can be extended to districts due to good cause, Johnson: asked about lottery dates, said March 20th is date parents need to let charter schools know if accept or not, Heff: trying to make the best of a bad situation, Nagourney: DOE just got forensic audit from Auphsite last Tuesday and immediately had questions, new audit called into question audit by Auphsite, Dr. Gray: not doing anything right now, will take time to investigate and lots of questions that need answers.

Gateway Lab School. CSAC Recommendation: do not renew.  Murphy: We received many public comments during process.  CSAC’s preliminary report and subsequent report bound to use framework process, would be inapproiate to decline renewal but academic framework gives pause for concern, will not accept CSAC’s recommendation w/condition- must meet standards by end of 2015-2016 school year, if doesn’t will put on formal review, Board: going over academic framework and how to compare Gateway students to other schools, (sorry for the delay folks, I know you want to know, me too!), Board member Patrick Heffernan messing this up, basically saying school hasn’t been efficient and proficient, Dr. Gray doesn’t necessarily agree with him, went over something called a DASL report in relation to other schools, Gateway not rated as high, Coverdale brought up comparison metrics, Heff questioning why final recommendation for Gateway says revocation but other ones say formal review, Murphy going over his recommendation again, said will seek revocation through formal review, Board Vote: Gateway renewed, vote count 4 yes, 3 no.

Updated: sorry, had to rush out due to an issue, but here’s how the others went down:

Las Americas Aspiras: renewed

Odyssey: renewed

Reach Academy for Girls: not renewed, will close at the end of  this school year.

The Seizure @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @RCEAPrez @Apl_Jax @nannyfat @ecpaige @Roof_O #netde #eduDE #Delaware #edchat

Last night the Red Clay Consolidated School District Board signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the three priority schools in their district.  They tweaked the original a bit, not allowing a superintendent  to make $160,000 a year, but rather the district salary for that position.  As well, it states these schools shall not become charter schools in the event of a takeover, but the loopholes in the MOU automatically revert back to the state code and regulation which would allow this anyways.  It was a punch in the gut for RCEA President Mike Matthews.

Meanwhile, in Dover, my 13 year old dog Dixxie had a seizure.  We aren’t sure what’s wrong with her, but we are waiting on blood work to come back to figure out our next step.  This event, in addition to the fact that I’ve been under the weather the past couple days, has distracted me from writing a lot about these events happening with the priority schools.  Family first!  This caused a lot of stress for my son.  Dixxie has been around longer than he has, so she is just as much a part of his family as Mom and Dad.  It was touch and go for a little while there, and trying to keep the dog calm and my son was tough.  But we all made it through, and spirits are back up today.

I am very concerned about the precedent the Red Clay decision sets for all public school districts in Delaware.  It allows them to be bullied into submission.  I still fear there will come a day when priority school districts happen, which will allow for full takeover by more charter schools.

I really wanted to go to the state board of education meeting today, but it doesn’t look like an option right now.  I will certainly keep you up to date when I find out more information throughout the day.  In the meantime, please say a prayer for Dixxie!

DId @GovernorMarkell tamper with RCCSD BOE vote on Priority MOU by moving dates and soliciting votes with directed phones calls?

I’m so glad I never voted for him. I hope he did do something illegal here and he gets impeached or removed from office. Nothing but a bully. Go get him John!

Alison May signs her name to this load of crap press release from @DEDeptofED. I smell a rat…

Leaving No Child Left Behind Behind

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

On December 17, 2014, I read a post entitled, Republican Leader Wants to Reduce Federal Role, on education historian Diane Ravitch’s blog. In it, she refers to leader of the House Education Committee and the Workforce, John Kline (R-Minnesota), whose interview with Abby Simons was published December 15, 2014, in the Star Tribune. Regarding Kline’s thoughts on education reform for the next legislative session, Simon writes,

Education reform Kline, who cruised to a seventh term last month, will continue chairing the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Along with his Senate counterpart Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Kline said his first priority is replacing No Child Left Behind and reducing the role of the federal government in K-12 education. Whatever the new act is called, the name “No Child Left Behind” is history.

“You can count on that,” he said. [Emphasis added.]

Hard to…

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