Red Clay School District takeover of Wilmington Christina schools does nothing to address de facto segregation

You don’t have to sell me on this Kilroy. I’ve seen warning signs all over the road called Redistricting Highway. As I’ve dug into the history of segregation in Wilmington schools, I don’t see anything happening to stop this trend from continuing. I only see it getting worse, and not just in Wilmington. Something that is beginning to have an effect in Kent County is the World Immersion Program our oddball Governor brought forth. This is the one where kids go to a different school in their district to learn Spanish or Chinese. The districts and the DOE have already said “not a good fit for special needs kids.” What it is also doing is drawing the “smarter” kids to different schools and leaving the schools they left with more low-income, minority, and special needs students. What kills me on this one is the districts are doing it to themselves!!!! And the school boards lap it up like it’s the best thing in the world. I know Capital and Caesar Rodney are starting to feel the brunt of this decision, and I know Appo is heavily involved in this program as well.

Why anyone is still listening to Markell is beyond me. I’m not going to sit here and say he cause all of this, but he has done nothing to stop it. In fact it has gotten progressively worse during his reign.

The only thing I take issue with on your post is damning Red Clay over their priority schools designation. Don’t forget, this was solely based on standardized test scores, which we all know are not a measurable unit of true progress. Nobody talks about actual grades these kids get, or their ability to read at a peer level. There are so many different ways to measure student progress, but we seem to take the worst way imaginable.

I truly believe we need a ton of replacements in our General Assembly, starting with Sokola and Jaques. You would have to be blind to not see who these two are hell-bent on destroying anything that is good about education. Here’s the scary part though with the Red Clay board saying no. The redistricting plans are already on the way. If Red Clay says no, and the State Board holds that power, and they can get the legislators to agree with what they come up with as an alternative, we are looking at an All-Charter Wilmington. And we know how well that worked out in places like New Orleans and Newark, NJ. I know, some will say that isn’t how SB 122 is written, but it also assumes Red Clay will just say yes and Christina will just automatically give the schools away. Much can happen between now and then!

Providence Creek Academy Singing The P-Card Blues During State Auditor Visits!!!!

Providence Creek Academy’s board minutes for June confirm explicitly why the Delaware State Auditor is investigating them.  Once again, it is for unauthorized use of a state-issued purchase card.  But whodunit?

I can say one thing for sure: it’s not Chuck Taylor.  I’ve heard who it was, but all I can say is the person no longer works there.  But what I can give credit to Chuck for is the quote in the article I posted earlier this morning:

“Head of School Report: School is completed for this year.  This year should go down in the history books as gone for good and never have history repeat itself.  We need to learn from the past.”

Providence Creek did have one hell of a year.  Between janitors with guns on the property, an administrator’s son getting canned for inappropriate internet use (and he was the tech guy), an outgoing employee allegedly threatening to “blow up the school” most likely in jest but still deemed enough of a credible threat to have Delaware Homeland Security come in, and then the craziest part: they hire a head of school who gets deathly ill from some weird bug poisoning in the Bahamas.

I have to admit, when I read what Chuck wrote up above, I cracked up.  Oh, and we can’t forget the bizarre Facebook posts stemming from the first three incidents, the whole Chuck-Delaware Charter Schools Network-Charter School Accountability Committee controversy, and the whole reveal of the school being investigated by the State Auditor, revealed nowhere else but the school’s own board minutes!  This is why they got an A+ for transparency.  And just to top all of this off, they are up for charter renewal this fall!  Below are the board minutes with the purchase card stuff:

Delaware Charter School Compliance and Transparency Report 2015

“Head of School Report: School is completed for this year.  This year should go down in the history books as gone for good and never have history repeat itself.  We need to learn from the past.”

The above quote was found in a Delaware charter school’s board minute notes recently.  About a year ago, I went through all the charters websites and graded them on certain things: board minutes up to date, agendas for next board meetings posted, and monthly financial information posted.  I will be grading each charter based on this information again this year, but I am adding in Citizens Budget Oversight Committee (CBOC) notifications and minutes.  I’m not including charters that haven’t opened yet or charters who got shut down this year cause really, what’s the point?

I can say a lot of the charters have become more compliant and transparent with these in the past year.  But some have not.  I gave a little bit of slack on the board minutes.  A lot of them had a meeting in the past week, so I don’t expect them to get the June minutes up right away.  If you see red, it’s not a major thing, but they need to fix it.  If it’s in BOLD red, they are majorly breaking the law and they need to fix that ASAP!  State law mandates charters put up their monthly financial info up within 15 days of their last board meeting.  As well, you have to have a CBOC committee and meetings.  Two of the charters on here with some big dinks are on probation already so they need to get on that.  Two others are up for charter renewal, so they definitely need to jam on it!

Academia Antonia AlonsoAgenda: no (only has two agendas for two board meetings in past year listed), Board Minutes: June 2015, CBOC Meetings: yes, CBOC Minutes: June 2015, Monthly Financials: April 2015, next board meeting: August 26th, Bonus: has meetings listed through end of 2015, Grade: C-

Academy of Dover– Agenda: Yes, Board minutes: June 2015, CBOC Meetings: Yes, CBOC Minutes: June 2015, Monthly Financials: April 2015, next board meeting: July 30th, Grade: B

Campus Community School– Agenda: July 2015, Board minutes: April 2015, CBOC Meetings: Yes, CBOC Minutes: March 2015, Monthly Financials: May 2015, next board meeting: not listed, Grade: D

Charter School of Wilmington– Agenda: Yes, Board Minutes: June 2015, CBOC Meetings: Yes, CBOC Minutes: May 2015, Monthly Financials: May 2015, next board meeting: not listed, but does indicate no July meeting, Grade: B

Delaware Academy of Public Safety & SecurityAgenda: no, website gives generic agenda for every meeting, Board Minutes: April 2015, CBOC Meetings: Yes, CBOC Minutes: April 2015, Monthly Financials: April 2015, next board meeting: none listed, last shows June 2015, Grade: F

Delaware College PrepAgenda: no, Board Minutes: April 2015, CBOC Meetings: no, CBOC Minutes: April 2014, Monthly Financials: June 2015, next board meeting: none listed, last shows June 2015, Grade F- for Formal Review

Delaware Military Academy– Agenda: yes, Board Minutes: May 2015, CBOC Meetings: Yes, CBOC Minutes: January 2015, Monthly Financials: May 2015, next board meeting: none listed, states meets 4th Monday of the month, Grade: D

Early College High SchoolAgenda: no, Board Minutes: May 2015 (states June meeting had no quorum which is majority of board members present to approve items up for action), CBOC Meetings: no, CBOC Minutes: no, Monthly Financials: April 2015, next board meeting: none listed but states meets 4th Thursday of the month, Grade: F

Eastside Charter School– Agenda: yes, Board Minutes: May 2015, CBOC Meetings: yes, CBOC Minutes: May 2015, Monthly Financials: May 2015, next board meeting: August 26th, Bonus: Shows anticipated board meeting dates thru June, 2016, Grade: A

Family Foundations Academy– Agenda: yes, Board Minutes: May 2015, CBOC Meetings: yes, CBOC Minutes: April 2015, Monthly Financials: May 2015, next board meeting: August 26th, Bonus: shows anticipated board meeting dates thru June, 2016, Grade: A

First State Montessori AcademyAgenda: no, Board Minutes: February 2015, CBOC Meetings: yes, CBOC Minutes: May 2015, Monthly Financials: May 2015, next board meeting: none listed, shows meets 4th Thursday of the month, Weird Fact: Uses WordPress as their website, the same as Exceptional Delaware…, Grade: D+

Gateway Lab School– Agenda: yes, Board Minutes: May 2015, CBOC Meetings: yes, CBOC Minutes: May 2015, Monthly Financials: June 2015, next board meeting: August 18th, Bonus: shows anticipated board meeting dates thru June, 2016, Grade: A+

Kuumba Academy– Agenda: yes, Board Minutes: May 2015, CBOC Meetings: yes, CBOC Minutes: May 2015, Monthly Financials: May 2015, next board meeting: none listed, Grade: B

Las Americas Aspiras Academy– Agenda: yes, Board Minutes: May 2015, CBOC Meetings: yes, CBOC Minutes: May 2015, Monthly Financials: yes*, next board meeting: none listed, states meets 4th Thursday of each month, *Superstar: Monthly Financial report is excellent, shows both what the DOE wants AND what state appropriations and codes are needed!!!!, Grade: A+

MOT Charter SchoolAgenda: no, Board Minutes: June 2015, CBOC Meetings: not sure, shows agenda for June 2015 meeting but last meeting was in May 2013, CBOC Minutes: May 2013, Monthly Financials: May 2015, next board meeting: none listed, Grade: F

Newark Charter School– Agenda: yes, Board Minutes: June 2015, CBOC Meetings: yes, CBOC Minutes: June 2015, Monthly Financials: June 2015, next board meeting: August 18th, Bonus: board meetings listed through June, 2016, Grade: A+

Odyssey Charter School– Agenda: yes, Board Minutes: June 2015, CBOC Meetings: yes, CBOC Minutes: May 2015, Monthly Financials: May 2015, next board meeting: August 12th, Grade: A-

Positive Outcomes– Agenda: yes, Board Minutes: May 2015, CBOC Meetings: yes, CBOC Minutes: June 2015, Monthly Financials: June 2015, next board meeting: August 19th, Bonus: board meetings AND CBOC meetings listed through June 2016, Grade: A+

Prestige Academy– Agenda: yes, Board Minutes: May 2015, CBOC Meetings: no, CBOC Minutes: none listed, website only shows members of CBOC, Monthly Financials: April 2015, next board meeting: none listed, shows meets 3rd Tuesday of each month, Grade: F

Providence Creek Academy– Agenda: yes, Board Minutes: June 2015, CBOC Meetings: yes, CBOC Minutes: April 2015, Monthly Financials: June 2015, next board meeting: August 25th, Bonus: does have all future board meetings through June 2016 on school calendar, Grade: A+

Sussex Academy– Agenda: yes, Board Minutes: May 2015, CBOC Meetings: yes, CBOC Minutes: May 2015, Monthly Financials: February 2015, next board meeting: September 16th (no meetings in July or August), Grade: C

Thomas Edison Charter– Agenda: yes, Board Minutes: June 2015, CBOC Meetings: yes, CBOC Minutes: June 2015, Monthly Financials: June 2015, next board meeting: August 17th, Bonus: Has all board meetings listed through June 2016, Grade A+

There you have it.  The Exceptional Delaware July 2015 Charter School Compliance and Transparency Report.  8 out of 22 need to do some serious damage control quick.  Because once DOE Jenny (as Kilroy calls her) reads this report, she’s going to have some serious questions for some of you!

Oh, I forgot one thing.  The quote up above will be shown later today as part of another article.  Because even though that school wants to forget about the past year, the past is knocking on their door!  More later!

Delaware Legislators, When Yvonne Talks, You Better Listen!!!! #REFUSETHETESTDELAWARE

The following came from the amazing but tough Delaware PTA Vice-President For Advocacy, the one and only Yvonne Johnson.  I will say no more, because Yvonne says it best:

Some key points our legislators need to hear regarding HB#50

The following key points on HB 50 has been sent to every legislator in the state. If you haven’t already done so, please reach out to them and urge them to override Governor Markell’s veto of HB 50.

 

  • As a reminder the votes on HB# 50 in both the house and the senate were overwhelmingly in favor of the parent opt out bill; House 33 to 3, Senate 15 to 6.
  • HB#50 was intended for the SBAC assessment. The bill is not about other assessments. Clearly parents want a choice without the fear of retribution to opt their student out of the SBAC.
  • DDOE promised to have results to parents in early August, which in and of itself is ludicrous, it is now expected to be in parents hands in late fall.
  • This bill was driven from parents and educators recognizing that the SBAC assessment does not offer the data that is valuable.
  • Parents want assessments that give nationally normed references, give immediate results, and measure their child’s growth within the current school year in which the test is administered; SBAC does not do any of above.
  • Educators want assessments that inform instruction within the current academic year; SBAC does not do this.
  • The people have spoken! The results of the vote on this bill in The General Assembly, are a direct result of constituent concerns regarding SBAC.

 

It is time for action from our elected officials. Unfortunately Governor Markell has ignored the wishes of YOUR constituents. There is no other resolution to this but to override his veto.

This is the only and the right thing to do for the hundreds of parents and teachers that you all have heard from.

Representing over 7000 members, Delaware PTA asks you to take action today and override the veto!

VP of Advocacy,

Yvonne Johnson

You don’t disregard Yvonne Johnson if you want to make it out of Delaware with all your teeth!  But seriously, if you agree with Yvonne, and I KNOW most of you do, please email our legislators.  If you are having any problems finding your legislator, don’t despair.  Email ALL of them!  Just copy and paste:

Harris.McDowell@state.de.us MargaretRose.Henry@state.de.us robert.marshall@state.de.us greg.lavelle@state.de.us catherine.cloutier@state.de.us Ernesto.Lopez@state.de.us Patricia.Blevins@state.de.us David.Sokola@state.de.us Karen.Peterson@state.de.us Bethany.Hall-long@state.de.us Bryan.Townsend@state.de.us Nicole.Poore@state.de.us David.McBride@state.de.us bruce.ennis@state.de.us Dave.Lawson@state.de.us senator-colin@prodigy.net brian.bushweller@state.de.us gsimpson@udel.edu Brian.Pettyjohn@state.de.us Gerald.Hocker@state.de.us Bryant.Richardson@state.de.us Charles.Potter@state.de.us StephanieT.Bolden@state.de.us helene.keeley@state.de.us gerald.brady@state.de.us melanie.g.smith@state.de.us debra.heffernan@state.de.us Bryon.Short@state.de.us Quinton.Johnson@state.de.us Kevin.Hensley@state.de.us sean.matthews@state.de.us jeff.spiegelman@state.de.us Deborah.Hudson@state.de.us john.l.mitchell@state.de.us Peter.Schwartzkopf@state.de.us Valerie.Longhurst@state.de.us jj.johnson@state.de.us Michael.Mulrooney@state.de.us michael.barbieri@state.de.us kimberly.williams@state.de.us Steve.Smyk@state.de.us Michael.Ramone@state.de.us joseph.miro@state.de.us paul.baumbach@state.de.us Edward.Osienski@state.de.us john.kowalko@state.de.us John.Viola@state.de.us Earl.Jaques@state.de.us william.carson@state.de.us trey.paradee@state.de.us bobby.outten@state.de.us Sean.Lynn@state.de.us andria.bennett@state.de.us jack.peterman@state.de.us Lyndon.Yearick@state.de.us David.L.Wilson@state.de.us Harvey.Kenton@state.de.us Ruth.BriggsKing@state.de.us Ronald.Gray@state.de.us Daniel.Short@state.de.us Timothy.Dukes@state.de.us Richard.G.Collins@state.de.us