- Today at 10:23 PM
I am the writer of Exceptional Delaware, and I would like to know why your organization is objecting to House Bill 186 and other legislation that would provide the essential oversight Delaware charter schools so desperately need. This isn’t about protecting the finances of these schools, it is about making sure the students in these schools get the best education possible.
What is occurring in so many of our schools: Academy of Dover, Family Foundations Academy, Providence Creek Academy, Odyssey Charter, Thomas Edison and others is a direct result of financial mismanagement, boards not properly trained in oversight, and allowing administrators to cut the board out of important decisions. It isn’t the boards that suffer or the admins. It is the students and teachers.
If your organization truly represents school choice, then you need to make sure the schools under your purveyance are effectively able to run those schools. Because we both know the DOE isn’t able to. You have the backing of millions of dollars and several huge companies, but at the end of the day none of that matters if the charters are involved in all these scandals. I would ask that you allow transparency to rule the day and that your organization backs House Bill 186 and House Bill 61. Parents should have choice, but only when everything is crystal clear and out in the open. It is completely inappropriate for any school to conceal finances or other important matters that can impact children.
I’m sure you don’t like me, and I’m okay with that. I don’t like a lot of the underhanded tactics I have seen your organization perform, like having parents mass email representatives to block a bill that would actually allow the charters to escape from the financial malfeasances and show why they can be just as good as traditional schools. I don’t understand the need to protect them, because it always comes out. If it isn’t me, it will be the next blogger or reporter. Things are reaching a crisis point with education in Delaware, and serving the will of money over students is not going to help these kids.
Many people say the entire goal of the education reform movement in the past 10 years has been about the eventual destruction of traditional school districts and the “privatization” of schools, making them all charter or private schools. I believe this point of view is the goal, but I also know it is a system that will never work. Because along with that comes the notion of power and people will abuse that. If you truly want charter schools to survive in our state, than I would strongly consider a different approach. Because this way, it doesn’t work. Charters will never take over. Now it needs to become a matter of co-existence. The way our schools are funded, with funds coming out of local funds from the traditional school districts does not work. Fighting for scraps will always cause fighting. We all need to come up with a better way and stop the fraud, waste and abuse going on in our schools. For schools that only represent a small percentage of our students, I have never seen such so much chaos and disruption coming from anything in education as I have with the charter school movement.
The next move is yours. And since I am a firm believer in transparency, I will publish this email.