In the Delaware Priority Schools saga, which is still going on believe it or not, many citizens, teachers, parents and even legislators started questioning the Delaware Department of Education about what was really going on. The email below, sent by a very prominent person in Delaware education, asked many questions. I will have to reach out to him to see if he ever received a response. This individual cares about education so much he gives up a lot of his own time to try to make it better.
Yes, this is none other than Mike Matthews, President of the Red Clay Educators Association (RCEA), and a teacher at Warner Elementary School. Mike is always on the front lines in the education battles in Delaware, and he is not afraid to tell the DOE exactly what he thinks. When I first met Mike, at a Delaware State Board of Education meeting last August, he was cutting out decorations for his classroom during the meeting. Since then, Mike and I talk a lot about education matters. He also used to write a very popular blog in Delaware called “Down With Absolutes”. Mike is relinquishing his teacher duties and going full-time with his RCEA role. I see Mike one day leading all of DSEA, and eventually I could see him in a political role in our state. I feel fortunate to know Mike as he knows a ton of information about Delaware.
Mike Matthews just emailed me the response from DOE to his questions:
From: McLaughlin Mary Kate [mailto:marykate.mclaughlin@DOE.K12.DE.US]
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 12:04 PM
To: Matthews Michael; May Alison; Schwinn Penny
Cc: Kowalko John; Rivera Kenneth; Williams Kimberly
Subject: RE: Priority Schools
Mike – thanks for the back and forth this morning and for giving me a little time to get back to you. On your first question around the planner, the district can chose whomever they’d like for the planner – DOE will not micromanage this, including what the qualifications are. It is totally up to the district – that said, if they would like assistance identifying a person or group that does this work, we’ll be happy to help. Relative to your 10 or 12 month question, the plan is due December 31st, so the money would be used by then.
On your second question, the districts can put forward their choice for school leader – the goal should be that it is a person who can execute on the plan they’ve developed. There is not a list of potential school leaders, however, similar to my statement above, should the district ask for help in identifying candidates, we would be happy to help.
Hope this helps! mk