The News Journal has just announced the Delaware Department of Education has given an ultimatum: close your three priority schools, convert them to a charter, or hand them over to a management company. They have until February 27th to comply.
Matthew Albright’s article is not shocking. I’ve expected this response for quite a while. Now the fun begins! There’s this little thing called the Christina Educators Association. This is called union-busting, and Governor Markell will not gain any new friends over this. I think it’s time the Christina Board of Education deployed their “nuclear option”.
The Christina School Board must choose by Feb. 27 whether to close its three Priority Schools or hand them over to charter schools or other education management organizations, the Department of Education has said in a letter to district staff sent Tuesday.
The decision comes after a contentious, months-long back and forth between the state and the Christina School Board.
Announced in September, Priority Schools is the state’s effort to improve six inner-city Wilmington schools in the Christina and Red Clay school districts with some of the state’s lowest test scores. State officials want to get elite school leaders in place, free them from most district rules and split about $2.8 million among the schools to fund innovative changes.
Christina’s three Priority Schools are Stubbs and Bancroft elementary schools and Bayard Middle School.
The plans have encountered outrage and stiff resistance, especially in Christina. Many educators feel the state is blaming them for low test scores when they say the real problems are systemic poverty and violence.
Last week, Christina School Board voted not to approve turnaround plans for the schools. Board members said they wanted more clarity on how teachers would be selected to staff the schools, saying they were convinced current school staff were the best people to lead improvements. They said they did not want to approve plans that could make it easier for teachers to be fired or transferred.
For more reaction from local officials and educators, keep watching DelawareOnline.com and read tomorrow’s edition of The News Journal.
Transparent Christina has an actual copy of the letter posted here: https://transparentchristina.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/showdown-2-0-let-the-union-busting-begin/