Wilmington Education Advisory Committee Wants Christina and Colonial Out Of Wilmington

Wilmington Education Advisory Committee

The Wilmington Education Advisory Committee, which came about due to an executive order by Delaware Governor Markell, issued their executive summary today.  As expected, the issue of Wilmington having four school districts within it’s boundaries was a major topic of discussion and recommendations.  Before the committee gives their final report, they want public input from all citizens of Delaware, but most importantly, those already residing within Wilmington.

The biggest change the committee is suggesting is taking Christina and Colonial School Districts out of Wilmington.  This would leave Red Clay Consolidated, Brandywine, and New Castle County Vo-Tech as the sole school districts in Wilmington, aside from the numerous charter schools already there.  The report recommends Red Clay take over all of Christina’s schools in Wilmington.  It doesn’t say anything about Colonial.

The charters in Wilmington should strategize together and work together with best practices from each school.  The report also agrees with the Wilmington City Council and their moratorium on new charter school applications.

I’m not sure how I feel about this report yet.  Something has to be done, but I don’t like how they are so quick to throw Christina out.  Red Clay gave in to the priority schools much quicker than Christina.  Hell, Christina’s union hasn’t even signed off on the MOUs at this point, if they will at all.

The full report can be read here.  Please note this is NOT the final report:

2 thoughts on “Wilmington Education Advisory Committee Wants Christina and Colonial Out Of Wilmington

  1. That is a huge drain on Red Clay.. Kind of ridiculous to make them bear the entire cost of running most of the inner city..

    Ultimately this means, more separate but unequal. Red Clay is the most vocal district over individual parents insist on not having their white kids associate with blacks at all in school. If those peoples property taxes go to boost inner city at the demise of their local districts, this certainly won’t fly.

    The more I think about it, I have to say, that is a pretty dumb assessment… getting rid of Christina and Colonial.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the only way Red Clay residents are likely to allow this, politically, is if it is accompanied by the state funding overhaul also recommended in the report–student-weighted funding. That would provide Red Clay sufficient $ to support the students in these schools. I agree that Red Clay has an abysmal record of intra-district segregation (look at its high schools). But perhaps a more unified city population could more successfully advocate for city kids. The current fragmentation of Wilm. voices, across four districts, is severely weakening.

    Christina’s geography (non-contiguous pieces) really is problematic. There is no natural sense of community shared by Newark-area and Wilm.-CSD residents, and unfortunately a lot of suburban resentment of the city “impact” (often misplaced–suburban kids misbehave, too!–but the city influence is a constant scapegoat for suburban CSD residents). Perhaps a geographically contiguous Christina would be more successful in building community support. Non-city Colonial & Christina include many high-poverty communities (less true of Red Clay, I think?), so with adequate resources those districts could focus on high-needs suburban communities, leaving more affluent Brandywine & Red Clay to tackle city school needs.

    The draft report is thoughtful. If changes were implemented as outlined in it, I think we might have a politically feasible solution that would strengthen Christina, Colonial and the city schools. So much would depend upon how Red Clay responds, initially and over time. More CSW/Cab “solutions,” or strong, socio-economically integrated public schools?

    It’s a good conversation starter for sure! Kudos to the committee for the deliberation this must have taken. First sign of systemic policy-making and reasonable compromise that I’ve seen on these thorny issues here.


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